On December 15th and 16th, Central will present its first annual production of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Mr. Burns and Mr. Kelsey are co-directors. Burns ensures that the literary and dramatic integrity of the story is maintained, while Kelsey manages the visual artistic aspects and the crew. However, their responsibilities often overlap. Burns may be seen drilling the set into place as Kelsey critiques an actor’s delivery. Down below, in an area of which many Central students are utterly oblivious, members of stage crew create snow out of styrofoam.
Actors have been working on their lines and staging since the beginning of the school year. Some even auditioned and received their parts at the end of last year, and have been preparing through the summer. Thomas Van Dean (276) stars as Ebenezer Scrooge and taps into his inner crotchety old man with uncanny accuracy. This is Van Dean’s first major appearance on the Central stage, although he has extra-curricular acting credits. Other actors to look out for include David Bango (276) and Helena Grace (278).
Bango has been a member of stage crew since his freshman year, but this year he crossed over into acting. Not only is he Jacob Marley in A Christmas Carol, but in the spring musical he will be playing the title role: Sweeney Todd. Other actors, including Helena Grace and Zach Cheatham (279), walk the line separating cast and crew. Cheatham admits, “I’m still working on the balance between acting and stage crew.”
Stage crew and set design have been laboring intensely over the course of this production. The stage of the auditorium has been completely transformed into nineteenth century London. “Working with stage crew and set design has been an amazing experience this year in particular. This is by far the most complicated set we’ve had for a production, I’m so excited for everyone to see it,” says Celia Hutton-Johns (276), stage crew captain and co stage manager for A Christmas Carol.
Despite religious affiliations, this production is a classic, and well worth the $5 for Central students. This is a great play to see with family and friends and will get spectators into the holiday spirit. In the words of Thomas Van Dean, “I’m super excited and I hope everyone comes out to support the cast and crew, because we’ve all put a lot of work into this production.”
Sophia Berg (276)