The gift of ‘A Christmas Carol’ radio show to bolster nostalgia and holiday merriment for Roaring Fork Valley residents
The Defiance Community Players teamed up with the Glenwood Springs Arts Council and KMTS radio to bring Glenwood Springs’ residents a holiday gift reminiscent of the past. An adapted 30-minute radio production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will be pre-recorded and streamed on the KMTS website and aired on their 99.1 FM station at 7 p.m. on Dec. 20, 24, 25 and 26.
Brendan Cochran, director of the project said putting together the show required him to provide feedback different from what he is used to giving when working on performances through a visual medium.
“I’ve definitely had to adjust to tuning out the visual and really focusing on the quality and intention of the sound. Another major difference is that we are able to stop and start with recording. Usually the actors walk on stage and you hope that the preparation you’ve done pays off,” Cochran wrote in an email.
The idea for the show came about this past summer when Chip Winn Wells was thinking about how to bring arts to the community during what was predicted to be the second wave of COVID-19.
“Tom Cochran and I both said, ‘I think it would be fun to host a radio program,’ I also knew that Gabe Chenowith from the radio station is a real fan of radio drama…we knew that it (was) a creative risk but those are the kinds of risks that are worth taking because people grow as a result of that,” Winn Wells said.
The Glenwood Springs Arts Council helped with funding for the project which included the rights to the adaptation and some of the other production costs. Because of copyright issues, the group cannot release a recorded version of the production to be streamed at any time, but must adhere to the set schedule.
“In order to get the rights to perform you have to pay for royalties…in this day and age it’s easy to put out your best work and then have it stolen in a heartbeat. So that’s part of the contract we have with (Anthony E. Palermo) and we’re holding to it by the letter,” Winn Wells said.
Laurie Chase, Board President of the Glenwood Arts Council, said her hope is to provide the residents of Glenwood Springs with a creative performance that will stir up some joy during this season.
“…it gives the actors a chance to show their acting abilities and hopefully brings holiday cheer…arts in any form really enrich a community. I think it enhances creativity among people, the moment they’re exposed to art of any form they become more curious in general,” Chase said.
Cochran is used to directing, though typically he puts together shows for the stage. His father, Tom Cochran, is in the show voicing the character Ebenezer Scrooge. Tom said it is an enjoyable process to perform as a character who is dissimilar to his true personality.
“It’s fun, I’ve always enjoyed playing characters that aren’t like me…to get a chance to explore that side of you that doesn’t come out hopefully too often,” Tom said.
This radio production of “A Christmas Carol” also marks the first time Tom will be acting in a show directed by his son.
“He’s got some good insights, I trust him as a director…this is the first time I’ve had him direct me but the shows I have seen him direct I thought he’s done a great job with and I’m really proud of him,” Tom said.
For those who are within KMTS streaming limits or would like to visit their website to livestream the performance, Cochran suggested getting together with loved ones and perhaps a warm beverage to enjoy the show.
“…I say make an event of it with your family,” he said. “Make some hot cocoa or mulled wine, turn the lights down, turn the other devices off, and let yourself get wrapped up in a classic story.”
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