Artists' Exchange Celebrates 10th Anniversary with Annual Production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Now thru 12/21
A Christmas Carol was one of the first events Artists' Exchange put on after it opened its doors in 2004, making this year's 10th annual production not only a celebration of a beloved holiday tradition, but a grander celebration of ten years fostering a unique creative community. This season, Artists' Exchange welcomes a new member to its community who will take a key role in this year's show. An Alaskan native who has recently made a splash in Rhode Island's theater scene, Clara Weishahn will direct this year's production, and she has big plans to make it a truly memorable one.
With a fresh new adaptation in hand, the differences will be recognizable from the very start as Weishahn has elected to open the show in an entirely new way. With a goal of bringing the story close to home, she is taking it right into a modern family room.
"Perhaps by diving into the very familiar and beloved Dickens story through our lives here and now, we will all be able to hear parts of the story anew," says Weishahn.
The show will place particular emphasis on how the story unfolds through the eyes of a child. A storybook quality will be evoked through the set design, with backdrops rendered by scenic designer Amanda Hall.
"One of my main goals for the production overall is embracing the fun and sense of play that is so important throughout any creative venture. I hope the audience will feel welcomed into that celebratory, playful world," Weishahn says.
She also sees the added focus on the visual design of the production as an opportunity to reflect the rich visual arts programming offered at Artists' Exchange along with its programs in theater and music.
Another shift this year is toward a more ensemble-oriented production. Added characters such as a group of women and children accompanying the ghosts and multiple children taking on the Cratchit characters at different ages will help show the passage of time and vary the perspective from which the story is told.
"Clara is really bringing a refreshing energy to the show," says the organization's director Elaine McKenna-Yeaw. "I have such peace of mind knowing that our show is in very capable hands, and beyond that, I'm so excited about her ideas, and can't wait to see them come together on stage."
Teaming up with the production's longtime Music Director Tom Chace, Weishahn aims to thoughtfully incorporate music throughout the show, particularly in transitions, to create a seamless flow from scene to scene.
Often juggling multiple roles in Artists' Exchange productions, this year Chace will take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
"I feel very fortunate to approach this new production with the support of many people who have been part of the Artists' ExchangeChristmas Carol tradition for years. Ultimately, I hope the audience will enjoy hearing this story as much as we enjoy the experience of telling it."
Artists' Exchange's 10th annual production of A Christmas Carol will take place December 12th through the 15th at Theatre 82, culminating with full scale performances at the historic Park Theatre from December 19th through the 21st, with the final performance presented after its annual fundraising gala. For tickets and more information, visit www.artists-exchange.org.
ABOUT ARTISTS' EXCHANGE
Artists' Exchange is a nonprofit arts collaborative whose mission is to create an atmosphere in which creativity, learning, and discovery converge and individuality is celebrated. Artists' Exchange houses The Black Box Theatre and multiple art studios, as well as a gallery, art boutique and café. With programs in art, music and theatre, Artists' Exchange offers enriching classes, birthday parties, and both weekly and monthly events.
Artists' Exchange is operated by Gateways to Change; a non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for all human beings.