Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, November 30, 2017
Dickens characters to take the Reach stage
by Monique Labbe
The characters of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol will come to life on the Reach Performing Arts stage beginning December 13.
Directed by John Lincoln, the production features actors from both the community and the island elementary school and high school, marking the first time in his career with the theater program that the two have come together on stage.
The idea came to Lincoln last year during a conversation with a community member. That conversation included ways for the adults in the community to be more involved with the students at the schools. From there, an idea was born, and Lincoln knew exactly what production would come of it.
“A Christmas Carol was the first show I ever did as a kid,” said Lincoln. “I always knew that it was something I wanted to do again, there was never any doubt that this is what it would be.”
The production took some rearranging of the theater schedule for Lincoln, who produces and directs the shows put on by the high school theater company on top of being involved in community Reach shows. Lincoln started the auditions for A Christmas Carol just two days after the school’s fall play closed.
“It’s taken some effort, but this has been such a wonderful group of people to work with,” he said.
One of those people is Bob Burke, who will play the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge.
“[Bob] has been incredible with the younger actors,” said Lincoln. “He has experience working in the schools and he just knows how to interact with them.”
Most of the characters are cast age appropriately, according to Lincoln, with the youngest actor in the first/second grade range. Lincoln added that it was important that the adult roles were played by adults and the younger roles played by the students.
Production and rehearsals have been ongoing over the last couple of weeks. The sets are starting to come together, said Lincoln, and costumes for the 30 cast members are in the later stages of completion. Including set building, cast members, costume designers and various members of the production crew, the total amount of people involved is close to 50.
Tinker Crouch and Betsy Powers have been handling most of the costumes, and Beth Kyzer has taken on the music director duties. The only thing the production needs now, said Lincoln, is a fiddle player.
“I’m not worried about finding one just yet,” said Lincoln. “If we don’t have one three days before the show, I might worry a little bit.”
The shows are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on December 13, 14 and 15, with a dinner put on by Edible Island at 5:30 in the cafeteria. The dinner has a small cost, and tickets for the show are by donation.