Photo Flash: Walnut Street Theatre for Kids' A CHRISTMAS CAROL Begins Today
Walnut Street Theatre for Kids' production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol will come to life anew on the Walnut Street Theatre's Mainstage this holiday season. This hour-long musical adaptation of Dickens' classic novel runs from today, November 30 through December 22. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below!
Every year, families take a break from the busy holiday season and come together to watch this delightful adaptation of the classic talefilled with laughter, whimsical spirits and original music. The Philadelphia tradition brings joy, warmth and the spirit of the holidays to families across the region.
A Christmas Carol transports audiences back to 1840's London, where they meet Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter old man who can no longer feel joy or affection, even for his family. This grumpy old miser's response to holiday cheer is "Bah, Humbug." On one remarkable Christmas Eve, he is visited by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. With their help, Scrooge experiences the magic and merriment of the season, inspiring him to change his miserly ways. He truly learns what the holiday season is all about: family, generosity and love.
Students also join holiday festivities by visiting the Walnut every year to see the most popular Walnut Street Theatre for Kids' production. Sharing A Christmas Carol with students is important to Director Bill Van Horn, who states, "Using Dickens' writing to expose children to theatre is a wonderful thing. Creating a production from a piece of familiar literature encourages discussions of imagination in the classroom before they even enter the theatre." Teachers agree, as they incorporate Dickens' classic story into their curriculum before sharing the gift of Live Theatre with their students.
Van Horn, who was previously commissioned to adapt the story for the Walnut, also directed A Christmas Carol in 2009, 2010 and 2012. He collaborated with Michael Borton to write the book and music. Van Horn can be seen in the Walnut's upcoming production of ELF, the musical as Santa. He has appeared in several WST productions, including: The Music Man, Curtains, and Fiddler on the Roof. Backstage, he has directed productions for all three Walnut series, including The Dishwashers, Forrest: A Riot of Dreams and Neil Simon's The Odd Couple. He also wrote and starred in the acclaimed Independence Studio on 3 production of O Captain, My Captain: Whitman's Lincoln.
Walnut's Director of Education, Thomas Quinn, is excited to have Van Horn directing again this year. "Bill brings a unique energy and understanding to the show that embraces the spirit of the holidays," he states. "This year's cast will include students from our theatre school, our summer camp, and current and former Acting Apprentices. Bill knows this show better than anyone. And I love when it snows on stage!"
Walnut Street Theatre welcomes back Music and Vocal Director Mark Yurkanin. Additional members of the creative team include returning artists: Samuel Reyes (Choreographer), Glen Sears (Set Design), Mark Grady (Lighting Design) and Ryan Peavey (Sound Design). Abigail Wyatt and Katie Yamaguchi, this season's costume apprentices, will take audiences to back in time with their period costume designs.
Returning for his sixth consecutive season, Benjamin Lovell continues the theatrical tradition in the role Ebenezer Scrooge. Lovell has performed locally at the Media Theatre, the Arden, the Ritz and the Shawnee Playhouse, as well as playing Cogsworth in the National Tour of Broadway's Beauty and the Beast.
The cast includes local actors Nate Golden, Angela Leone, Matthew Mastronardi, Connor McAndrews and Jamie Beth Weist of Philadelphia, PA; Andrew Goren of Mount Laurel, NJ; Jamieson and Jordan O'Brien of Atco, NJ; Joseph Keegan of Haddonfield, NJ; Sarah Graham of Hatboro, PA; and Gianna Ernst of Hainesport, NJ. Also joining the cast will be Walnut Acting Apprentices Sarah Biddle of Hockessin, DE; Max Cove of Voorhees, NJ; Angelica Jackson of Wilmington, DE; and Nichalas Parker of Philadelphia, PA.
A Christmas Carol has matinee performances on November 30, December 4, 6, 7, 8, 11-15, 17, 18, 21 and 22. The Wednesday, December 11th performance will be ASL interpreted and Audio Described. Tickets are $10 - $16. For tickets and information, please call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster or by visiting the Walnut's website at www.WalnutStreetTheatre.org.
Photo Credit: Mark Garvin