Copies of The Pilgrim’s Progress Audio are available at www.orionsgate.org
“Read it again, Daddy.” Four simple words from the mouth of a 7 year old boy. Four words that were to change my life forever (back story below).
Hi New Friend,
Welcome to The Pilgrim’s Progress web site. I assume that you are here because you are in search of life-changing resources for either yourself or those you love. That’s what I was searching for when I embarked on the production of The Pilgrim’s Progress Audio Dramatizations and subsequent books. If you want to “cut to the chase” and just order copies click on the links and find your way to the “Store.”
For those who want to know the rest of the story – here’s how it all began.
The back story:
It was definitely the providence of God that led me to help May Graves, one of our church grandmothers, move to a smaller home. As you well know, one of the perks of being a volunteer mover is being offered various and sundry items that are no longer of use to the movee.
Being a Christian playwright/stage producer I was, of course, immediately drawn to her bookshelf. There I found The Pilgrim’s Progress. A book I had heard about for decades but had never read. “Ah,” thought I. “The perfect book to read to my little 7 year old boy, Benjamin.”
And so, anticipating an exciting reading adventure after a hard day of moving, that evening we cozied up and I began to read to him from my “new” book. Well, although he started out all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed – it only took about one page of 17th century “Oulde Englysh” to make his fingers begin to fidget and his eyes began to glaze over. The story was good but it wasn’t getting through to him. I knew I was about to lose him.
That’s when the playwright in me kicked in and I began again from the beginning. This time I began updating and dramatizing the oulde Englysh to modern English on the fly. Now and then, to enhance a particularly adventure-filled or emotion-packed scene, as you probably do during your story times, I would take a few liberties with the original text .
Well, we finished the original book in a few weeks and immediately moved on to The Pilgrim’s Progress Part II: Christiana. As I was closing the book at the end of that wonderful sequel, young Benjamin spoke those life-changing words. “Read it again, Daddy.” “Hmm”, thought I. “If one little boy was blessed by my enhanced version, perhaps other families would be too!”
Thus was born the idea to share my modernized and dramatized version of John Bunyan’s immortal classic with other parents in search of quality material for their children.
My original thought was to simply type out my revisions on my old Selectric typewriter, (this was pre-computer days), and then record myself simply reading it as a children’s story. Well, it seems that God had other plans. After I had finished the manuscript and got ready for the actual recording I became acquainted with a lovely lady named Barbara Morton who had been a singing evangelist. I was captivated by her deeply resonant voice and personality and I enlisted her as my narrator while still planning to do all the other 100+ voices myself.
So we began. It turns out that she was then in the early stages of a battle with pancreatic cancer and the climb up to my 2nd story recording space was sometimes slow and labored for her. We would record for an hour or so each day for a week or two and at the end her talent had been captured on several 14 inch reels of analog tape. Sadly, this was recorded in the era of analog tape with its subsequent cutting and splicing editing techniques which took 2 years and Barbara never got to hear the final production (at least not yet).
Well, as you might guess, one providential voice actor led to another and soon Kirk Van Buren from Canada came on board as the voice of Christian, as well as chief casting agent and editor. By journey’s end we had utilized 77 different voice actors, collected hundreds of original sound effects and commissioned composer Jeff Wood to write the original music. Thus it was that what was to have been a simple one-man reading morphed into a full-blown audio dramatization. This continued to evolve into a book and then a coloring book. From there I moved on to the sequel, Christiana, and it’s book.
Whats next you may ask? Who can say but I’m learning that our dreams may not be as big as God’s. Should the Dear Lord tarry longer than I think He will, I may try to write and produce The Pilgrim’s Progress as a full-blown movie. At present I am in the recording/editing process of an epic production based on the life of Joseph. Its called Joseph: Prince of Pain; Master of Mercy and will be an audio dramatization which I estimate will be about 16 hours long. I believe it will be a life-changing event for listeners of all ages. Your prayers of support are highly coveted.
So what was the result of that little boy’s four words? As of this year 2020, The Pilgrim’s Progress Audio Drama has circled the globe. In the years since its release in October of 1989, copies of The Pilgrim’s Progress Audio Drama have found their way into the audio collections of many tens of thousands of families. If you would like to join that illustrious group please visit our STORE.
When you have time come visit The Pilgrim’s Progress Blog. We have much to talk about.
If you’re interested in my enhanced version of The Pilgrim’s Progress click the link below to go to the Amazon testimonial page and see how other readers are responding. If you want to go direct and save a bit of money then just head on over to the STORE.
This web site is under construction. Come back soon for more pages, more features, more blessings. Meanwhile you can check out our many free videos and our audio productions at www.orionsgate.org
The Pilgrim’s Progress Audio Drama and
The Amplified Pilgrim’s Progress Parts I & II