Walnut Street Theatre Celebrates the Holidays with A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Holiday cheer is in the air, which means Philadelphia families will celebrate the season once more with Charles Dickens' classic tale, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, live on stage. Walnut Street Theatre (WST) for Kids' favorite hour-long musical adaptation of Dickens' classic novel runs from November 30 through December 22. For the first time there will be a special evening performance of the show, offering families one more burst of holiday magic.
Set in Victorian London, A CHRISTMAS CAROL tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, a bitter man who shuns the holiday spirit with a "Bah, Humbug." On one fateful Christmas Eve, however, Scrooge sees the error of his ways with the help of three ghostly spirits, making for one unforgettable night. Together, they visit Scrooge's past, present, and a glimpse of his possible future in order to remind him what Christmas really means. In the end, Scrooge learns what the holiday season is all about: compassion, generosity and family.
Complete with familiar carols, laughter, and whimsical spirits, WST for Kids' A CHRISTMAS CAROL returns as both a Walnut favorite and a Philadelphia tradition. Now celebrating its 20th anniversary, the production features the return of Playwright and Director Bill Van Horn, along with a new Scrooge, Gregory Isaac, in his Walnut debut.
"Our cast and creative team have poured so much joy into this timeless tradition," said T.J. Sokso, Walnut Street Theatre's Director of Education. "I have no doubt that this year's production will put every family in a holiday mood."
On top of adapting and directing this year's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Walnut veteran Bill Van Horn is performing this season in The Gifts of the Magi in the Walnut's Independence Studio on 3. His directing credits for the Walnut include Ken Ludwig's Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery and last season's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. He has appeared on stage in numerous other Walnut productions, including Baskerville, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Story, Mary Poppins, Elf, and Fiddler on the Roof.
The show's assistant director and choreographer is Nate Golden, a Walnut Acting Apprentice alum (2012) and current teaching artist at the theatre. Golden recently worked on The Little Mermaid Jr., Fly Guy, Pinkalicious, Goosebumps and Aladdin Jr. His upcoming projects for the Walnut include Junie B. Jones and Nate the Great.
Walnut Street Theatre welcomes back Music and Vocal Director Matthew Mastronardi (Civil War Voices, A Child's Christmas in Wales, Peter and the Starcatcher) for his 10th holiday season with A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Tori Lewis makes her Walnut debut as costume designer, creating the iconic Victorian wardrobe of 1840's London. Lewis is one of two costume apprentices in Walnut Street Theatre's 2019-2020 apprentice class.
Gregory Isaac makes his Walnut debut in the role of the "bah-humbugging" miser, Ebenezer Scrooge. A Barrymore Award nominee, Isaac has previously performed in Philadelphia with Quintessence Theatre, Lantern Theater, 1812 Productions, Delaware Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Artists' Collective.
Joining Isaac on the stage are Tyler Hallowell, Emily Maiorano, Evan Raines, Emily Schuman, Thor Speeler, Lisa VillaMil and Brynn Washbourne, all of Philadelphia, PA; Rachel DeMasi of Sewell, NJ; Nathan Foley of Folsom, PA; Ada Marano of Turnersville, NJ; Alex Stoner of Palmyra, NJ; and Christian Tuffy of Huntingdon Valley, PA. Current Walnut acting apprentices Oliver Feaster, Jasonica Moore, Andrew Mullin, and Sam Paley round out the cast.
For students, Walnut Street Theatre's Education Department helps to transform Dickens' powerful and magical story into a memorable educational experience. In addition to giving students the opportunity to see the beloved story they've read spring to life right before their eyes, the Walnut provides free online study guides for teachers, parents, and caregivers to spark meaningful conversation about the show before students enter the theatre. Exploring the story's content in the classroom and at home not only further engages students, but also adds excitement to the experience of seeing familiar characters and period fashion on stage, as well as hearing the bright holiday music of A CHRISTMAS CAROL.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL opens with family matinee performances on November 30 and December 1 at 11 a.m., followed by weekday matinee performances for schools and individuals on December 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, and 20 at 10:30 a.m. Other weekend matinee performances will be held on December 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 11 a.m., with an additional evening performance on Sunday, December 22 at 6:30 p.m. - the first evening performance in the production's 20 years at the Walnut. The Wednesday, December 11th performance will be ASL interpreted and Audio Described. Tickets are $17 - $25. For tickets and information, please call 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets can also be purchased at the Walnut ticket office, online at Ticketmaster, or by visiting the Walnut's website at walnutstreettheatre.org.