It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas

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by Diana Timmermans |

This year the theatre department is decking the halls a bit earlier. The show is “A Christmas Carol” with a few more twists than musicals in the past.

“The original Christmas Carol was not a musical, so for one thing, this is a musical. The story lines are somewhat different as far as where the ghosts come from because they are everyday people or characters that Scrooge runs into usually on a daily basis around town,” director Don Johnson said. “Everyone knows the basis of the Charles Dickens book, but there have been many different renditions of the same storyline of Scrooge. The main character is visited by three ghosts, Christmas past, present, and future. But the question is, how are they going to make these ghosts come to life? ‘Magic,’ Johnson said, “We have some tricks up our sleeve, and we are hoping to work some of those out once we go into technical rehearsals, lots of fog, lots of lighting.”

Usually, the musicals are performed in the Liberty Performing Arts Theater, but for “A Christmas Carol,” they decided to perform in the Little Theater.

“This is a musical that really lends itself to a small intimate space, and that’s what we have here. The Little Theater is very small and very intimate,” Johnson said. “We can build our set here and not have to travel it anywhere because it will go all the way out into the lobby area, so that’s why we are doing it here this year.”

The cast can see the benefits and the conflicts of this decision.

“I like the smaller venues; I like them a lot better than the larger ones, because I can concentrate on the character rather than projection,” senior Robert Louthain said. Louthain plays the part of Scrooge.

“I like how I don’t have to drive to the middle school every day, but the space is a lot smaller, not a lot of seating,” junior Turner Staton said. Staton plays Marley, a friend of Scrooge

Another twist to this musical is that this year it is running for a longer period of time. Instead of the one weekend of shows, they have decided to have two weekends of shows, November 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17 starting at 7 PM, they also have Saturday matinees on November 10 and 17 at 2 PM. Tickets are $6 for children, students, and seniors, adult tickets are $8 at the door.  A longer run of shows comes with more stress on actors and actresses.

“In the real world, that’s how plays are performed, they are done not just for three days, they are done over several weeks,” Johnson said. This year they are trying to create real a theater experience with these new additions.

“Definitely more stress, especially because we are in Blue Star, which is an award for theater and it’s very stressful, and we work a lot harder to be better than other schools,” Staton said. The Blue Star Program is an award program through Starlight Theater where students can be nominated for best actor, best actress, best supporting and the musical itself will be judged. It creates opportunities for kids to audition in New York and other places.

Even with the stress of performing, the cast is very excited to perform what they have been rehearsing for numerous weeks.

“Out of all the parts I’ve played throughout my life, I’ve been in quite a few shows, it’s one of the most exciting because you have to have the Christmas spirit and the joy and you have to be happy,” said senior Kelsey Lewis who plays the ghost of Christmas Present.