Utah Writers, Performers Produce Christmas Audio Series
PROVO, Utah — Many of the traditional ways to gather and celebrate the holiday season had either been canceled or changed in 2020 due to COVID-19, so a group of Utah creatives came together to produce a new dramatized audio series centered around the original Christmas story.
The free five-episode series, “NATIVITY,” (www.audiostories.life) began as an idea in July, when the team of writers, performers and musicians decided they wanted to help spread a message of hope.
“We’ve done a lot of work on national broadcasts and stage productions and films,” said co-executive producer Ross Boothe. “We said what can we do on this timeline—because it was July—what can we do on this timeline for little to no budget to bring the Christmas story to the people.”
A lengthy production process ensued with funding help from donors.
“It’s not one that we came together and said, ‘let’s see if we can make a buck,’” Boothe said. “It was, ‘let’s see if we can do something with what we have for the world.’”
2020 has not been a kind year for those in the industry—something members of the creative team acknowledged.
“A lot of people are out of work, a lot of people are using their imagination to find something to do,” said Cynthia Collier. “It’s hard for performers to be finding something to do and it’s amazing how eager they are to use their gifts and their talents and their abilities to serve.”
They said the sincere message that comes with the Christmas story is something they feel many people need this time of year.
“With all of the troubles people have had, we need to get back to what Christmas is really about,” said voice talent Mary Jane Wadley. “It needed to be something that was genuine from us.”
Boothe said thousands of listeners have already started to stream the series daily.
Creative team member Paul Cartwright said NATIVITY should appeal across age groups to a wide audience.
“It’s for everyone—a message of hope and joy and love,” he said. “All of us need that right now.”
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