Radio production wins award

Don Connelly performs in WCU's 2010 production of “Campbell’s Playhouse: ‘A Christmas Carol’ 1938.”

Don Connelly performs in WCU’s 2010 production of “Campbell’s Playhouse: ‘A Christmas Carol’ 1938.”

For the second consecutive year, a Western Carolina University re-creation of a classic radio show is winner of a top award in the national Broadcast Education Association Festival of Media Arts.

Western Carolina’s production of “Campbell’s Playhouse: ‘A Christmas Carol’ 1938” has received an award of excellence for long form production in the festival’s faculty audio competition.

Don Connelly, head of the university’s communication department who produced the show, will accept the award as part of the annual BEA convention in Las Vegas in April.

The Festival of Media Arts received more than 900 entries this year, said Clark Greer, competition chairman and professor of communication at Point Loma Nazarene University.

“Campbell’s Playhouse: ‘A Christmas Carol’ 1938” was presented to a sold-out audience on Dec. 9 in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. A minute-by-minute re-creation of a 1938 Campbell’s Playhouse radio adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” that starred the legendary Orson Welles, the WCU show used Welles’ personal script.

The production starred Arthur Anderson, who reprised his role of the Ghost of Christmas Past that he performed in the original version more than 70 years ago. Age 88 when he appeared at WCU, Anderson was 16 when he performed with Welles in the 1938 broadcast.

Connelly partnered on the academic-based entertainment event with director Steve Carlisle, a stage and screen veteran who is associate dean of WCU’s Honors College, and musical director Bruce Frazier, the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor of Electronic and Commercial Music.

The team previously collaborated on the 2008 live radio show production of Welles’ “The War of the Worlds” and 2009’s nationally acclaimed Veterans Day tribute “On the Home Front, Nov. ‘44,” which won two top honors in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts.

In addition to being seen by a live audience, “Campbell’s Playhouse: ‘A Christmas Carol’ 1938” was broadcast by WWNC-AM of Asheville as part of its Christmas Eve programming.

For more information about WCU’s communication programs, visit the Web site