Presented by the Drama Club, “A Christmas Carol…A Radio Play” will be performed on stage Friday, December 11 at 7pm and Saturday, December 12 at 2pm. The familiar story will be told as a radio drama onstage, complete with sound effects and music cues. “A Christmas Carol” begins with the storyteller and his friends discussing the tale of the mean and stingy Ebenezer Scrooge. They decide on an opening line, and the storyteller begins, transforming into Scrooge as he speaks.
Throughout, the storyteller remains in the Scrooge characterization, as the other actors narrate in their natural voices and assume new voices and dialects to become every character in the tale. A Christmas Carol is staged with minimal costuming and a simple set. The actors perform into floor microphones, while all sound effects and music are performed live. The original Dickens story is all here, too, just told in a different way.
Scrooge is being portrayed by SAAC newcomer, Abbi Brewer, joined by many veterans of the SAAC stage: Gideon Moncrief as Tiny Tim, Hannah Elizabeth as Bob Cratchit, Mary Claire Parker as Marley, Mason Halstead as Fred, Ellis Lyles as Fezziwig, Tiffanie Duke as Ghost of Christmas Present, Isai Hurtado as Ghost of Christmas Future, Emma McGee as Fan, Sarah Faith as Belle, Alyssa Purifoy as Belinda Cratchit, Avery Hall as Peter Cratchit, and Riya Nelson as Fred’s Wife.
SAAC teens and their teachers have worked hard to create an enjoyable theatrical production while observing the Arkansas Department of Health’s COVID-19 restrictions. Their priority has been creating and maintaining a safe environment for each other, while learning how to use their voices and hands to interpret their characters from a distance, without their usual movements, touching, or physically interacting with the other members of the cast.
Director Lynn Gunter felt this script was a perfect fit for this semester’s project. The show is set at Christmastime 1918. WWI has finally come to a close, but a new war has begun and is raging: the Spanish Flu. Many are dying. Masks are common attire, as people try to stay well. Life is difficult. Yet, in the midst, there is something that is bringing families together for a moment of laughter and entertainment. What? The radio. Jump forward to 2020, where COVID and restrictions have been placed on us. Life is difficult. So, what a better time and way to introduce the SAAC Teen Drama Class to the past and a form of acting they have yet to encounter.
The production team for this play has a long history of commitment to the SAAC teen drama group and the community, and most of them have been together for more than 10 productions. Lynn Gunter has directed young actors for years, and she and Cassie Hickman, assistant director, have teamed up again for some holiday magic. They are joined by Hannah Davis, stellar acting coach; April Hoover, a genius at set design; Jacob George, who deftly runs light and sound design; Bob Stephenson, production assistant and wizard of everything; and student crew member, Maddy Couture.
Tickets are $5, limited to 50 seats for physical distancing. Masks are required.
For tickets please visit the online box office or call the SAAC office at 870-862-5474.