Teamwork will bring staging of 'Christmas Carol'

Christmas Carol castDozens of students from Oswego’s theatre and music departments will team with faculty members to present a staged reading of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre.

“This form of readers’ theatre can accommodate the fluid shifts of time, place and thought that are part of Dickens’ novel,” said Mark Cole, professor and chair of theatre at SUNY Oswego, who adapted the work for this production. 

“Through Dickens’ masterful language, the audience can be taken from a wintry street into Scrooge’s house, up several flights of stairs and into his bedroom in a very few sentences. Much faster than film or a traditional stage presentation,” Cole noted. “And of course, the supernatural elements come alive in each audience member’s imagination through the language.”

A cast of 10 student actors will participate. Having it set as a reading “allows the performers to shift from role to role in the turn of a phrase,” Cole said.

Nathaniel Angstrom will play the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Brian Heyman will portray Marley’s ghost, one of the Crachitt children, Mr. Fezziwig and a maid. Steve Mazzoccone will play Scrooge’s nephew Fred and Peter Crachitt. Samantha Mason will take on the roles of Marley’s ghost and Mrs. Crachitt. Megan McGarvey will portray Mrs. Fezziwig, Belle and the wife to Scrooge’s nephew. Gloria McAndrew will play a businessman, the laundress and Fan, Scrooge’s sister. Ryan Powers will fill the roles of Bob Crachitt, the undertaker’s man and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Laura Pena will portray Marley’s ghost and the charwoman. Ryan Sprague will play Old Joe and Tiny Tim. Allison Kleber will convey the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Part of the adaptation involves the addition of musical numbers that either provide commentary on or underscore the plot. “The music, carols sung by the State Singers under the direction of Julie Pretzat, will provide an evocation of the Christmas spirit that contrasts and illuminates the world of the story,” Cole said.

Participating State Singers include Nicole Arbes, Jodi Castello, Heather McDonald, Danielle Valeriano, Jen Andrade, Megan McGarvey, Laura Pavlus, Victoria Roth, Jim Micucci, Kris Vicencio, Daniel Williams, DeShaun Boyd, Terrell Mitchell, Peter Murphy and Jonathan Powers.

Stage managers for the production are Samantha MacArthur and Megan Myerov. Assistant director is Trevor Franklin.

“We’ve been exposed to so many interpretations of the story, especially on film, from George C. Scott to Mr. Magoo to the Muppets,” Cole said. “This performance is an opportunity to return to Dickens’ rich text so an audience can create its own images of what the world of ‘A Christmas Carol’ looks like.”

Ticket prices for “A Christmas Carol” are $7 ($5 for seniors and children, $3 for SUNY Oswego students). For reservations, contact the Tyler Hall box office at 312-2141 or tickets@oswego.edu.

Those with disabilities needing assistance to attend the performance should call the box office manager at 312-3097 in advance.

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PHOTO CAPTION: ‘Carol’ cast—Rehearsals are under way for the staged reading, with music, of “A Christmas Carol” at SUNY Oswego. The adaptation of the Charles Dickens holiday classic will take place at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4, in Tyler Hall’s Waterman Theatre. Among the dozens of participating SUNY Oswego students are, from left: front row, Laura Pavlus and Brian Heyman; middle row, Nathaniel Angstrom, Samantha Mason and Danielle Valeriano; and back row, Steve Mazzoccone and Ryan Powers.

(Posted: Nov 16, 2005)

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