Tonight was the first dress rehearsal for A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas. Hats off to Costumer Barbara Young and her volunteer and TheatreWings High School Apprentice costume crew who have created well over 250 costumes for our biggest and most spectacular Christmas Carol ever. While we begin with costumes used in the past, each year scores of new costumes are added and of course the older costumes all have to be refurbished and modified for the actors in this year’s production. It’s quite a task and Barbara and her crew who have been at work since last summer to create this year’s amazing costume extraganza. Of course the 250+ costumes are only a part of the spectacle. There are 10 sets (three of which are brand new this year), not to mention hundreds of lighting and sound cues plus spirits that literally fly through the air. It’s quite a show but after over 1000 man (and woman) hours, it’s almost ready!
(40 Member Cast of Christmas Carol)
Last night I attended the Designer’s Runthru of our new production of A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas. This is the first runthru of the show and gives the set, lighting, sound designers and the playwright a chance to see the show on its feet for the first time. What amazed me, even though I wrote this adaptation and have directed or seen the show at least 200 times, once more I was drawn into the story, laughed out loud and was touched by Tiny Tim—and all that without the stunning sets, costumes and special effects still to come. We’ve got a terrific cast this year who have found more humor, more good cheer than ever before—and some of the finest singing the show has ever had. I was of course excited to hear the new lines and see the new scenes I’ve added this year but it was really the great story of Charles Dickens that once more drew me in. I can see why this story has entranced readers and audiences for almost 200 years. It’s wonderful to be able to share this timeless and moving story each year with the Charleston Community. Can’t wait for you to see this year’s version.
(Gavin Milligan as Tiny Tim)
Last week we started rehearsals for A Christmas Carol. I have directed this show a few times and have been an actor in it even more times. I love the script, but was concerned about how to make the show fresh and new. Then I met with the cast for the first time. We have 48 in the cast, 21 are in eighth grade or younger. The majority of the cast has never done the show or even seen it. It wasn’t long before their energy and excitement had me more than ready to get started. This morning an acting teacher friend of mine who has a student in A Christmas Carol shared his student’s reaction to the first rehearsal, “It was cool. The guy who plays Scrooge can make a lot of different faces and when he gets mad his face turns all red and the veins in his neck pop out.” I guess I don’t have to worry about finding the excitement and that is why I love my job.
(Scrooge, played by Randy Risher, and The Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come)