The Surry Arts Council will present “Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR.,” on Dec. 9 and 10 at 3 p.m. at the Andy Griffith Playhouse. The play is based on Mary Pope Osborne’s popular series of children’s books.
“It’s a new take on the classic Christmas Carol tale,” explains Amanda Barnard, director. “The main characters, Jack and Annie, a brother and sister from Pennsylvania, travel back in time to help Charles Dickens rediscover his gift of writing. With Tiny Tim, Merlin, Morgan Le Fay, and three very special ghosts, the siblings adventure through Victorian England, weaving a tale of Christmas magic.”
Jack is played by Will Banfield and Annie is played by Cassidy Mills. Additional cast members are Evan Barnard (Charles Dickens), Alex Bowers (Merlin), MacKenzie Boyles (Morgan Le Fay), Michael Senter (Mr. Pinch), Raegan Amos (Mrs. Pinch and Henrietta), Jessica Smith (Mrs. Tibbs and Mrs. Dickens), Zoe Collins (Carriage Driver), Natalie Cockerham (Colin), and Jack Denny (Harry and Nickelby).
Other cast members include Cora Branch (Emma), Lauren Willard (Olive), Juliana Cooke (Waitress and Mary), Madison Lawson (Waitress and Lady-in-Waiting), Brooksie Lawson (White Ghost), Cierra Bullins (Green Ghost), Emma Collins (Black Ghost and Dressmaker), Molly Easter (Caroler and Miss Twigby), Olivia Dotson (Caroler), Caroline Williams (Young Caroler), Walker York (Pickwick and Mourner), Max Barnard (Oliver Twist), Cooper Mauck (Policeman), Gabe Mauck (Tiny Tim), Olivia Dotson (Roberta), Laken Williams (Newsie), Kate Sparks (Orphan), Brooks Harold (Baker), Ben Branch (Street Vendor), Cooper Mauck (Francois the Chef), Ta’Mar Shrewsbury (Sara), Audrey Brown (Bookseller), and Callie Edmonds (Queen Victoria). Orphans are played by Juliet Barnard, Chase Kniskern, Taylin Leftwich, Elena McComb, Carleigh Jo Mills, Eva Ramirez, Alek Riggs, Zara Shrewsbury, Maggie Wallace and Maddie Youell.
Barnard has directed a number of shows for the Surry Arts Council including “Disney’s Aladdin JR.” and “Oklahoma!” and she instructs the Teen and Youth Drama Workshops. She studied acting and directing at UNC Asheville and moved to New York and worked in theater after college. After returning to North Carolina, she earned a master’s degree in education at Salem College.
Barnard said she loves working with youth. “I am pleased to work with such an eager and talented cast of young people. They have been practicing and perfecting the characters, songs, and dances. I can’t wait to share their hard work with our community. It’s pure Christmas magic.”
Tickets for “The Magic Tree House: A Ghost Tale for Mr. Dickens JR.” are $15 or $6 for ages 12 and younger and available online at www.surryarts.org or by calling (336) 786-7998. For additional information contact Antonia Cawley at (336) 786-7998 or firstname.lastname@example.org.