Audio Drama – with Scott Edward Smith

Lean into the world of audio drama with Scott Edward Smith, as he transforms historical figures into compelling stories, revealing how he reshaped his approach to storytelling to bring theater to the radio.

As a writer, as a producer, and quite often as the director, I’m taking material that is meant to be seen. And being told you have to make this work in audio—nobody’s going to see what you think— and having to transform… it wasn’t story, it was words. So that the words were more specific. […] It changed how I wrote and also how I spoke, because I had to learn this medium, which gives you no visuals. You have nothing to work with. You just can’t say the things that you do in a play, or a movie or, a television show.

~ Scott Edward Smith, 4:20

Scott Edward Smith and Craig Constantine dig into the world of audio drama and its resurgence in the era of COVID-19. Scott shares his journey from writing for television, movies, and theater to embracing audio dramas due to the pandemic’s impact on traditional media outlets. He highlights how it forced him into the realm of audio storytelling, transforming his approach to narratives and character development.

With historical figures as his subjects, Scott crafts one-person plays that bring these personalities to life, emphasizing the shift from visual to auditory storytelling. This transition, he notes, required a nuanced understanding of how to convey stories solely through sound, making every word and effect crucial in painting vivid pictures for the audience.

Scott discusses several of his works, including audio dramas about Wallace Simpson, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean, explaining how each project adapted to the audio format’s unique demands. He reflects on the creative process, from the initial concept to the detailed execution, integrating sound effects and music to enhance the listener’s experience.

The conversation also touches on the technical aspects of producing audio dramas, such as segmenting stories for listener convenience and the strategic use of sound to evoke specific settings and emotions. Through these discussions, Scott illustrates the power of audio drama to captivate and engage audiences, offering a theater-like experience through the intimate medium of podcasting.


Adapting to new mediums—how a seasoned writer transitions from traditional stage and screenwriting to audio dramas due to the constraints posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The power of sound in storytelling—exploring the use of audio effects and music to create vivid, immersive experiences in the absence of visual cues.

Evolution of narrative techniques—reflecting on how the necessity to focus purely on audio has refined writing and directing approaches, emphasizing the importance of every word and sound.

Future of audio dramas—speculating on the ongoing role and potential growth of audio dramas in the broader landscape of entertainment and storytelling.

Historical figures as subjects—the creative process behind transforming the lives of iconic personalities into compelling one-person audio dramas.

Technical aspects of audio production—discussing the challenges and strategies involved in segmenting stories for an audio format, catering to listener habits and preferences.


Intimate Fame Podcast — An audio drama discussed in this episode, focusing on the stories of historical figures of Wallace Simpson, Marilyn Monroe, and James Dean.

Edinburgh Festival/ — Mentioned in the context of one of the audio dramas having been performed there, the Edinburgh Festival is a collective term for several arts and cultural festivals that take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, every summer.

(Written with help from Chat-GPT.)