Clarence Brown Theatre's A CHRISTMAS CAROL to Open 11/27
This year's production features an enhanced set, more music and will include an intermission. Also new this year will be a special photo opportunity and sweet treat concessions for young and old alike. he production is sponsored by mainstage series sponsor, Schaad Companies and also Pilot Flying J, Rotary Club of Knoxville, the Arts & Culture Alliance, the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Arts and Heritage Fund. Hotel support is provided by the Hilton Garden Inn. Media sponsors are WBIR, Comcast, WUOT, WUTK, Knoxville News Sentinel, East TN PBS, and B97.5.
"A Christmas Carol" is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, whose ghostly journey and transformation through Christmas past, present and future is among the most beloved stories in western literature. Described by Dickens as his "little Christmas Book," "A Christmas Carol" was first published in December 1843. The story was instantly successful, selling over 6,000 copies in one week. It has since been republished countless times and adapted for stage and screen. It remains one of literatures' most enduring and often-quoted stories of hope, triumph, and communal spirit.
Director Casey Sams is an Associate Professor at UT where she works in both the Graduate and Undergraduate programs teaching Movement and Acting. Casey's other CBT credits include: "Sweeney Todd," "On the Razzle," and "Tommy." She also has directed, choreographed or served as movement coach at such theatres as The Round House Theatre (DC), The Utah Shakespearean Festival, PlayMakers Rep (Chapel Hill), North Carolina Stage Company (Asheville), Virginia Stage Company (Norfolk), Knoxville Opera Company, and Vermont Stage Company (Burlington).
"What excites me about "A Christmas Carol" and one of the areas we will be focusing on is the real sense that Scrooge is going on an individual journey...that it's his trip from being closed off and isolated from the world around him to a place where he can see and share in the beauty, generosity, and joy that is around him," Sams said.
Rachel Schlafer-Parton (Musical Director) from Luttrell, TN is best known for her performance on the syringe on Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion." She also performed at the National Gallery of Art, Strathmore Music Center, Bonnaroo, and the Bluebird Café. Locally she has performed with Farr Horizons, Knoxville Early Music Project, InterAct Children's Theatre for the Deaf, Hudson K, and The Band of Humans. Her CBT credits include: "A Christmas Carol" and "The Story of Opal."
The production features professional actors and resident artists, UT Theatre faculty, UT graduate and undergraduate student actors, and actors from greater Knoxville. Again, performing the role of Scrooge is visiting guest actor David Kortemeier. Some CBT credits include: "Sweeney Todd," "Moonlight & Magnolias," "The Music Man," "Man of La Mancha," "Amadeus," "Oedipus the King," "Little Shop of Horrors," and "Love's Labour's Lost." His work also has been seen at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, the Great Lakes Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Drury Lane Theatre and Noble Fool Theatricals in Chicago and thirteen seasons with the Illinois Shakespeare Festival in Bloomington. He holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Louisville. UT Theater faculty member Katy Wolfe Zahn will perform the role of Christmas Past. Resident artists David Brian Alley will play Jacob Marley and Neil Friedman will play Christmas Present and Mr. Fezziwig.
UT Theater graduate actors include: Micah-Shane Brewer (Bob Cratchit/Ensemble); Johanna Dunphy (Belle/Mrs. Fred/Ensemble); Angela Graham (Mrs. Cratchit/Ensemble); StuArt Matthews (Schoolmaster/Priest/ Topper/Undertaker); Corey O'Brien-Pniewski (Fred/Ensemble); Laura Sebastian (Mrs. Grigsby/Mrs. Fezziwig/Ensemble); and Tramell Tillman (Soloist/Musician/Ensemble). Undergraduate students include: Dani Disotelle (Petunia/Ensemble); Kolt Free (Dick Wilkins/Ensemble); Robert Parker (Boy Scrooge/Peter Cratchit/Ensemble); Hannah Jones (Martha Cratchit/Ensemble), Eric Sorrels (Young Ebenezer/Ensemble); Juliet Bethel Stuphin (Fan/Sophia/Ensemble); and Emerald Wright (Dorthea). Community actors include: Cian Owen Bell (Boy Caroler, Boy Ebenezer, Tom Cratchit, Ignorance, Turkey Boy and Ensemble); Kate Cimino (Belinda Cratchit, Ensemble); Isabella Coyne (Mary Cratchit); Eason Bullard (Tiny Tim, Ensemble); Ted Kitterman (Fiddler/Ensemble); Amelia Payne (Mary Cratchit/Ensemble); and Shelton Tison (Tiny Tim/Ensemble). The creative team for this production includes: Melissa Caldwell-Weddig (Costume Coordinator); Catherine Marie Girardi (Lighting Designer); Joe Payne (Sound and Projection/Media Designer); and Christopher Pickart (Scenic Designer).