Talents of local voice actor recognized

Georgia Craven (Photo courtesy David Farquhar)

One of the actors of an audio theatre based out of Chatham is getting some recognition for her latest performance.

Georgia Craven recently received a Best Leading Actress nomination for The Audio Theatre Central Seneca Awards for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

The production was put on by Chatham’s Voices in the Wind Audio Theatre, which adapts popular literature works into full-cast audio productions using only voice actors and sound effects.

According to Executive Director David Farquhar, audio theatre performances have been growing in popularity over the past few years. He added that the pandemic has brought an increase of downloads

“What’s really propelling it right now is the technology, the smartphone the tablets. A lot of people now seem to not have enough time to read so they get audiobooks. Part of that is the audio theatre productions,” said Farquhar. “It’s really popular with the younger kids today.”

The ATC Seneca Awards are presented by a production studio based out of Arizona and recognize excellence in the world of family-friendly audio.

Farquhar was the one who submitted a nomination for Craven for her work playing the iconic role of Dorothy. Farquhar said it’s especially rewarding for Craven to have been chosen against some of the most well-known voice actors in North America.

“I submitted the application for her in December. Just this past Friday I got an email from the ATC Seneca Awards saying ‘congratulations’ she had been nominated for best leading actor,” explained Farquhar. “She’s up against some very skilled American actors from Adventures in Odyssey and Lamplighter Theatre, which are really big in the United States. So it’s really cool that we’re being considered in the same league with their productions and their actors.”

Craven is a Grade 12 student at Chatham-Kent Secondary School and has extensive experience in stage performing. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, however, marks Craven’s first lead part in an audio theatre production.

In addition to the dialogue she had to read, Craven also had to perform two original songs as part of the production.

“It was a challenge and I think she was really excited to receive a nomination. I actually didn’t tell her that I had this thing submitted for consideration. So I think its news to everybody. I submitted it back in December then we had the COVID-19 pandemic so it kind of got pushed to the back of my mind,” said Farquhar.

Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre also received a nomination for Best Cover Art for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. The winners will be announced in a live-stream broadcast on July 24 at 10 p.m.

Snippets of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are available on the Voices of the Wind Audio Theatre website and the complete 90-minute production is available for purchase on audible.ca.