The Pilgrim’s Progress

“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.

Here’s 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 but never read. “Ah,” thought I. “The perfect book to read to my little 7 year old boy, Benjamin.”

And so, anticipating an exciting readinig adventure after a hard day of moving, that evening 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 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 updating the oulde Englysh to modern English on the fly. Now and then, to enhance a particularly adventure-filled or emotion-packed scene, 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, little 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. My original thought was to simply record myself reading it as a children’s story.

Well, it seems that God had other plans. I finished the manuscript on my old Selectric typewriter, (in my pre-computer days) one thing let to another and I was led to the late Barbara Morton who agreed to be my narrator. 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. Unfortunately, the entire process (recorded back in the analog tape era with its subsequent cutting and splicing editing techniques) took 2 years and Barbara never got to hear the final production (yet).

Well, as you might guess, one providential voice actor begat another and soon Kirk Van Buren 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 sound effects and commissioned original music. Thus it was that a simple 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. And, should the Dear Lord tarry longer than I think, I may even produce it as a full-blown movie.

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.

To read some kind words of appreciation from parents of some of those families CLICK HERE. http://pilgrimsprogress.org/testimonials


Testimonies (Book Reviews) From Amazon Readers
Notes:
1) Feel free to visit the Amazon testimonial page, but you can save yourself quite a few pennies by purchasing the book directly from this web site.

2) One of the reviewers accused me of sneaking in some dispensationalist doctrine into the book. This I must deny as I scarcely even know what dispensationalism is, let alone promote it. If you take the time to read this person’s rather lengthly post please take the time to read the rebuttals by other reviewers posted below it.

This web site is under construction. Come back soon for more pages, more features, more blessings.

Jim Pappas
Author/producer

This web site is under construction. Come back soon for more pages, more features, more blessings.

Jim Pappas
Author/producer

The Pilgrim’s Progress