By: David Broyles Staff Reporter
October 29, 2013
A partnership between two local drama groups is focused on a play about ghosts from a different holiday season. Namely, the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.
Dewey Decimal Players Director Angela Llewellyn will once again stage her adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens Dec. 14 and 15 in the Jones Family Resource Center Auditorium.
“This is the first time staging the play in collaboration with the Playmakers,” said Llewellyn of the center’s theater group. “Typically the Deweys are for students age 13-18-years and combining the two groups allows the veterans to lead by example for the younger actors who can learn a lot from them.”
She said the effort draws its inspiration from theater programs which treat acting like a trade with older actors serving as mentors for the younger “craftsmen.
“Some of the NoneSuch actors were Deweys who aged out of the program, so it’s nice to get everyone back in touch for this,” said Llewellyn, whose timing was calculated to allow just such a mixture of ages and experience. She explained previously the show had been staged so often by her and husband, Brack, it had lost personal appeal.
“Previously we’ve had tons of kids interested in the show,” said Llewellyn. “Not this time. A partnership seemed a good way to go. A lot of our NoneSuch players who have roles are graduated Deweys. My adaptation calls for a cast of 28 people and we’ve only had to tweak the script slightly. It’s nice to come back and see the adult actors and the perspective … the experienced actor gives them. True to the show we have Deweys past, present and future.”
The role of mean-spirited, miserly Ebenezer Scrooge will be played by Brack Llewellyn. Scott Carpenter will play Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley’s ghost. Lore Petrick will play the ghost of Christmas Past, Tom Beckom will be Christmas Present and Todd Jessup will play the ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. Jack Pack will play Scrooge’s clerk, Bob Cratchit, and Leslie Watts will portray Cratchit’s wife.
“A lot of our players have worked with us in the past. It’s a huge group to work with and it’s a very talented cast,” Angela Llewellyn said. “I’m also excited for the learning opportunities this will give the Dewey’s. One actor (Scott Carpenter) came to the read through and already had his lines down pat. I’m glad the Deweys saw someone come to a first read with their lines memorized and a character in place.”
Lewellyn said the timeless appeal of the story perhaps lies in the fact adults always find themselves, embittered like the character of Scrooge.
“This show is a reminder to all of us to remember to be a little kinder to each other,” Llewellyn said.”It’ll be good for everyone in many different ways.”
The Dec. 14 shows will be held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a 3 p.m. show is planned for Dec. 15. Admission for the shows is $5 each at the door. Lewellyn said additional performances are set for Dec. 16 and 17 at the Mount Airy Public Library with the curtain set to go up at 6:30 p.m. Admission is free to these two performances but seating is limited.
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