"A Christmas Carol ... A Radio Play" will be performed on stage at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Saturday by the South Arkansas Arts Center of El Dorado Drama Club.
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 Charles 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.
Director Lynn Gunter felt this script was a perfect fit for this semester's project.
The show is set at Christmastime 1918. World War I 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.
Lynn Gunter has directed young actors for years, and she and Cassie Hickman, assistant director, have teamed up again. They are joined by Hannah Davis, acting coach; April Hoover, set design; Jacob George, light and sound design; Bob Stephenson, production assistant; and student crew member, Maddy Couture.
Tickets are $5, limited to 50 seats for physical distancing. Masks are required.