Review of Audio Drama Adaptation of In Their Footsteps
By Jack Gennaro
In the age of COVID-19, more artists in live theatre are understandably turning to digital mediums, as a means of keeping their craft alive. While others have turned to the newer medium that is “virtual theatre” that is frequently presented over Zoom and YouTube, others are choosing to return to a medium that has its roots in the age of radio. Such an example is the recent audio adaptation of Ashley Adelman’s In Their Footsteps, now available to the public on YouTube.
Having been previously produced at the legendary Kraine Theater in 2018, this piece adapted from real-life stories of women veterans in the Vietnam War – a topic which has not been explored as much as it should, even as issues of sexism and racism have been giving more overdue exposure in the indie theatre world in response to the rise of Donald Trump – is a fine example of a play from live theatre which can easily be adapted for virtual mediums without needing significant changes. The fact that it has such a strong cast of actors bringing the play to life bolsters its case for being a fine choice for future virtual productions.
Given the content of the play, as one could imagine, it might not be one that everyone will WANT to hear, but it is arguably one that NEEDS to still be heard in the 2020s, even if it depicts a period in history that Millennials and Zoomers only know from their history classes in school. From the perspectives of women who served in combat, the still-relevant interactions with racism that are referenced, and of course, the brutality of wars which should never have been fought, there is still much in this play that is sadly relevant, and will always be relevant until indie artists are finally successful in changing the culture to a point where they only belong in history classes, and not in the ongoing national dialogue…however long that might take.
Given how polished this presentation was, if Infinite Variety Productions were to start a podcast in the future, I could easily see them being highly successful if they chose to use that platform to continuously produce audio drama presentations of this caliber on a more consistent basis. Whether they choose to go this route or not is to be determined, but regardless, this is one presentation that shows the potential of audio drama to evoke emotions and keep an audience’s attention during this pandemic, and beyond. If you have time to listen, it’s well worth it.
Listen to “In Their Footsteps” now on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIUZjh1Wo7k.
Purchase the script at Smith Scripts at https://www.smithscripts.co.uk/product/in-their-footsteps-by-ashley-adelman/