Alice in Wonderland, presented by the Voices in the Wind audio theatre company. (Photo from Voices in the Wind)

Chatham-Kent audio drama production company makes PBS top 100 list

A Chatham-produced Alice in Wonderland audio book has been recognized as a Great American Read. The audio drama is being promoted as the version of choice by hundreds of retailers across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Voices in the Wind produces full cast audio dramas. Different than standard audio books, audio dramas use multiple voice actors instead of a single narrator.

David Farquhar, executive producer calls them a “movie for the mind.”

“It’s a more enriching experience,” said Farquhar. Audio dramas often also incorporate background music or sound effects.

Farquhar says Voices of the Wind is the only company doing this kind of work for miles around. Thanks to modern technology, he can incorporate voice actors from around the world.

Alice in Wonderland features talent from Canada, the U.S. and the U.K, including Orange is the New Black’s Barbara Rosenblat.

After a summer of voting through PBS’s Great American Read program, the Voices in the Wind version of Alice in Wonderland made the top of the list. More than 7,000 people participated in the vote.

Farquhar grew up in Chatham and decided to stay here to open his production company in 2015. He operates out of his apartment. Recent works, including the original “Dark of the Moon Inn” five-part series have received numerous accolades in industry magazines.

Voices in the Wind’s audio dramas target an 18-35 year old demographic and are popular in markets where people commute to work over long distances. According to Farquhar, the industry is a “billion dollar market” in the U.S. The company has released more than a dozen titles in three years.

The company has also produced classics including Snow White and A Christmas Carol. Cinderella is also in the works. The Voices in the Wind version of Snow White won awards at the 2017 HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival. Parts of the new Dark of the Moon Inn series were recorded in front of a live audience.