Lantern Theater Company Presents A World Premiere Adaptation Of Charles Dickens' A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Lantern Theater Company is thrilled to announce the world premiere of an original adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, commissioned and developed through the Lantern's New Play Program and co-created by Philadelphia-based artists Anthony Lawton, Christopher Colucci, and Thom Weaver. In this wonderfully clear and direct telling of Dickens' beloved novella, Lawton will bring the story boldly to life as only live theater can. Just in time for the holiday season, audiences of all ages are invited to come rediscover this story of a miser's miraculous redemption from a life of bitterness, greed, and isolation. Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol runs Thursday, December 13, 2018, through Sunday, January 6, 2019, in the Black Box Theater at Drexel University's URBN Center Annex; a full schedule of performances is included in the fact sheet below.

Written in 1843, Dickens' holiday classic is famous for its ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future who help Scrooge see the error of his ways. But Dickens originally envisioned A Christmas Carol as a social justice pamphlet denouncing child labor and poverty entitled An Appeal to the People of England, on behalf of the Poor Man's Child. England in the 1840s was a time of rapid industrialization, massive population growth, and widening gulfs between the rich and the poor. Throughout his life, Dickens was sensitive to and outspoken about social issues, and particularly those involving children and economic inequality.

"There are some stories so woven into the mythos of a culture that it seems impossible to imagine a time before they existed," said Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon. "A Christmas Carol is one of those stories. Stripped of holiday clichés, it is a devastating story, laying bare all the ugly forces that separate and isolate human beings from one another, turning life into a solitary torment. It is also a joyous story of one person's release from that torment just at the moment when it seems about to clasp him in its grip for all time. We are honored to present this original adaption of A Christmas Carol, a unique version in which you will hear the simple power of the words and the characters told in a clear and simple human voice."

The Lantern will delve into A Christmas Carol on its Lantern Searchlight blog, available online at lanterntheater.org/searchlight. Published articles will explore the world of Charles Dickens, the fascinating circumstances surrounding the writing of this now quintessential holiday classic, A Christmas Carol in the nexus between Victorian economics and literature, and more. New content will be added throughout the production's run.

Tickets for Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. Ticket prices are $30 for adults, $26 for seniors age 65 and older, and $22 for teens and children. Discounts are also available for theater industry professionals ($10 in advance or at the door), groups of 10 or more, and U.S. military personnel. Flex packs are also available for the Lantern's 25th anniversary season for $144 - $160. All performances of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol will be held in the Black Box Theater at Drexel University's URBN Center Annex, 3401 Filbert St. in University City Philadelphia.

About the Artists

Anthony Lawton (Co-Creator and the Storyteller) will show his mastery of theatrical narrative as he plays all of A Christmas Carol's roles in this solo tour de force. Lawton is well known to Philadelphia audiences for his original works for the stage - including The Foocy, which had its world premiere production at the Lantern in 2005 and earned five Barrymore nominations including Best New Play, and The Light Princess, which premiered at Arden Theatre Company and earned eight 2017 Barrymore nominations including Best New Play and two wins. Lawton has also created original adaptations of Shel Silverstein's The Devil and Billy Markham and C.S. Lewis' The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce, which he has performed at the Lantern and across the U.S. under the aegis of his Mirror Theatre Company, earning him praise from Philadelphia City Paper as the city's "Best One-Man Theatre." As an actor, Lawton's many local and regional stage credits include productions at the Lantern, Arden Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, The Wilma Theater, 1812 Productions, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, and theaters in Michigan, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and New York City. His film and television credits include Unbreakable, Invincible, Law Abiding Citizen, Silver Linings Playbook, Hack, and Cold Case. Lawton holds a BA in great books from the University of Notre Dame and an MFA in acting from Temple University.

Christopher Colucci (Co-Creator and Sound Designer) is an eight-time Barrymore Award-winning sound designer, composer, and musician whose many Lantern credits include The Heir Apparent, Hapgood, Red Velvet, The Gospel According To..., Mrs. Warren's Profession, Arcadia, and the upcoming Betrayal. Other recent work includes Sweat at Philadelphia Theatre Company, Charlotte's Web at Arden Theatre Company, Passage at The Wilma Theater, and A Doll's House, Part 2 at Weston Playhouse, and upcoming productions of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Walnut Street Theatre and The God Project at 1812 Productions. Colucci holds an MA in philosophy from Western Kentucky University.

Thom Weaver (Co-Creator and Scenic/Lighting Designer) is an award-winning designer whose work has been honored with four Barrymore Awards (27 nominations), four Helen Hayes nominations, two Jeff Awards, and two AUDELCO Awards. His work has been seen locally at the Lantern, The Wilma Theater, Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Theatre Exile, New Paradise Laboratories, and Walnut Street Theatre, and regionally at NYSF/The Public Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Primary Stages, Signature Theatre (NY), Center Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Syracuse Stage, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Shakespeare Theatre, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Folger Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Roundhouse Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Hangar Theatre, Spoleto Festival, City Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theater, and Yale Repertory Theatre. He is also co-founder of Die-Cast with Brenna Geffers and a member of Wingspace, an organization of theater artists that fosters conversations on design, strengthening community, and furthering activism in the field. Weaver holds a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

About Lantern Theater Company

Founded in 1994, Lantern Theater Company entered its 25th anniversary season with a record number of subscribers and a growing community of theater artists engaged in its productions and audience enrichment events. The Lantern's innovative Theater Artist Fair Pay Initiative was featured in American Theatre magazine as a leading national success story for increasing artist compensation through a combination of fundraising and higher ticket sales. The Lantern seeks to be a vibrant and contributing member of its community, exposing audiences to great theater, inviting participation in dialogue and discussion, engaging audience members on artistic and social issues, and employing theatrical language and techniques to enrich learning in the classroom. Since the inception of the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre in 1995, the Lantern has been recognized with 100 nominations and 19 awards, including the 2009 Award for Excellence in Theatre Education and Community Service. Following the world premiere of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, the company's 2018/19 season will continue with Betrayal by Harold Pinter, Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare, and the world premiere of Minors, a new musical by Philadelphia-based artists Kittson O'Neill and Robert Kaplowitz that is being developed through the Lantern's New Works Program. More information is online at lanterntheater.org.

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