Christmas Schemes in Milford-Haven

The Milford-Haven Audio Drama
A Journey into the Heart and History of Mara Purl’s Original Radio Drama

In this special episode we abandon the whole usual scheme of things, and we follow Miranda, who’s come up with a holiday scheme guaranteed to spread good cheer. We include Susan, who’s agreed to set aside her personal schemes, and Kevin, who really never has much of a scehem, and Samantha, who couldn’t wait to take a break from the usual scheming.
– The Narrator

Season 1, Christmas Special

Milford-Haven first launched on a small, local radio station in Cambria, California, the birthplace of the show. The fictional town was loosely based upon the real town of Cambria, and our first audiences were loyal local fans.

To honor our first holiday season on the air, we created a Christmas Special. While the serial storyline progressed from week to week with cliffhangers and mysteries, complex romances and local politics, this episode suspended the regular plot lines and focused instead on a holiday caroling project. Protagonist Miranda Jones negotiates her way around town enrolling most of the characters in a “Caroling Crawl” to celebrate the holiday spirit. Corny? Yes. Charming? Our audiences certainly thought so, and requested this episode be re-broadcast several time each holiday season.

Of course, the episode required a lot of real singing. To accomplish this goal, I arranged two real gatherings. One was a holiday party in our Los Angeles studio, attended by all the cast members. We rehearsed, then recorded, and then enjoyed socializing, since we rarely all gathered to record at the same time. And since several us were professional singers, the choral offerings sounded great!

The storyline also called for a group of high schoolers to sing, and this opened the way for a very special event. By this time, we had been picked up by a second radio station all the way across the country. WGMC in Greece, New York, a suburb of Rochester, was the flagship station for the New York State Council on the Arts. Milford-Haven had become as much of a hit there as it was in California, and I traveled there to do a press tour, visit the station and do some recording. Eric Gruner was the Program Director who went on to have an illustrious broadcasting career. For this episode, it was “type casting” to have Eric play the role of “Radio Jones,” the Milford-Haven DJ.

The local highschool had a Radio Club, and I invited its members to appear in this episode. The kids were so excited to come to the station to sing and perform in their first radio drama, and even more excited when they got to hear themselves on the air when the show was broadcast.

This episode also had some other great guest stars. Jon Walmsley, a “regular” on “The Waltons,” and a well-known guitarist and singer, joined us, as did singer and actress Lisa Harrison. Ilona Stone, a radio star from SABC—South African Broadcast Company—joined the show to play journalist Emily Wilkins. Marcy McFee, a regular cast member who played “Susan,” was joined by her husband John McFee, a member of the Doobie Brothers, and—needless to say—a great singer.

Of course, the episode had to have its own “Scrooge” and to fulfill that role perfectly we had the always irascible “Jack Sawyer” complaining bitterly about Christmas, played with a perfect growl by Jim Buckley.

You can read more about our cast members here

The composers of all the Milford-Haven music created a special series of holiday cues for this episode, which made this show with its musical focus as perfect as a delicious Christmas yule cake. You can read more about them here:

So now . . enjoy this homey, cozy holiday episode. If you haven’t heard Season 1 yet, you can subscribe here. And now, tune in to your favorite device, and join us for Christmas in . . . Milford-Haven!

So now, download the episode
subscribe to Season 1

Tune in to your favorite device, and join us in . . . Milford-Haven!