Christmas Carol taking dead-center stage by Gregory R. Norfleet · News · December 07, 2012
Gather ‘round for this year’s high school musical, A Christmas Carol.
No, really. Gather ‘round.
Instead of performing in the auditorium this year, the actors and actresses will converge in the center of the gymnasium — and the audience will see it all from a 360-degree view.
There will be no curtain, no behind-the-scenes, no backdrops.
The story will hang on costumes, props, lyrics and dialogue — and the audience’s imagination.
Tickets are on sale now for three performances of the Charles Dickens’ classic — 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10. There is also a dinner before the Saturday performance.
The minimal stage means that even the Ghost of Christmas Future, famous for its dark cloak and mute gestures, will have a voice: actress Ann Owen will largely sing, and even utter a few words to the frightened Ebenezer Scrooge.
“With the lack of a set, it all comes down to lines,” Owen said.
Owen said her ghost will still have its dark role, and both the voice and the three-level platform stage will “give the show more dimension and depth.”
With song and dance — 20-plus in the cast and 30 in the chorus — led by the high school’s show choir, the performance will flow in and out of the audience, bringing the show even closer, according to Director Chris Reed.
“With this story and message, it requires the audience to be close to the action,” he said. “The actors will then enter up through the audience and will be in the audience for a number of songs. This will help break down the fourth wall and allow the audience to be in the show.”
Reed said there are five on crew and music will be live and include piano, percussion, bass guitar, soprano saxophone, clarinet, trumpet and trombone.
Gabe Rocha, who plays the poor, put-upon Bob Cratchit, said the songs were pretty much down last week.
“Hopefully all goes well,” he said.
He said A Christmas Carol practices started later than Beauty and the Beast last year, so getting ready has been more “hectic.”
With the high school cast — there are also several middle school pupils — all in show choir, they have had to learn twice as much during the past month.
Abby Nopoulos, who plays the Ghost of Christmas Past, agreed.
“It’s exciting and nerve-wracking,” she said of learning her solo.
Learning the parts in less time than last year has the cast “moving as quickly as possible,” she said, and being surrounded by the audience is a “new experience.”
While the high school often likes comedies, Nopoulos said there is some humor, but nothing out of the ordinary.
“There are dark and funny parts,” she said. “And Jathan (Kron) plays Scrooge pretty straightforward. It has the tone of the classic story.”