“A Christmas Carol” lights up stage, hearts


By Dawn Hatfield


GREENVILLE — Greenville High School Theatre did not disappoint in their performance of “A Christmas Carol” on Dec. 9 and 10. Their show, described as a “faithful, ensemble-based adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic,” delighted audiences with excellent costuming and superb acting atop a traditional Christmas story line.

Theatre Club President Katelyn Conway starred as Ebenezer Scrooge in this “genderbent” role. Though her sideburns may have been fake, her performance could not have been more genuine as the self-aggrandizing curmudgeon who experiences a late-life epiphany, thanks to his old partner, Marley, and a host of holiday ghosts.

Marley, played by Club Secretary Lydia Beisner, appeared to Ebenezer to foretell of his spirited visitors and left the audience reeling from her haunting shrieks. Her long, intricate wrap of chains warned Scrooge of his own fate should be choose not to heed his guests’ wisdom.

Carson Henry, shrouded in white as the Ghost of Christmas Past, reminded Scrooge of simpler times before his heart turned dark. Ebenezer saw himself as a young boy abandoned in the schoolhouse and, again, as a young man full of good intentions that never quite took shape.

The Ghost of Christmas Present, played by Izzy Sommer in a striking black, green, and red ensemble, opened Ebenezer’s eyes to what was happening outside his own small life during this very Christmas. Scrooge learned his ever-optimistic nephew, played by Chris Shaltry, truly did love him and hope he would someday accept his holiday invitation. He saw, too, that his loyal employee, Bob Cratchit, played by Brody Fleming, was grateful even for the stingy givings of his boss. Moreover, he saw the Cratchit family were worried for the health of their beloved Tiny Tim, played by Club Reporter Charlie Pope, who was just as appreciative and selfless as his father even while battling increasingly poor health.

In her role as the Ghost of Christmas Future, Riley McCartney needed not to speak a word. With her black cape draped about her, she forced Ebenezer’s eyes upon, not only the grave of Tiny Tim, but also a gravestone that bore his own name.

Throughout the performance, Carolers (Lydia Beisner, Mya Conway, Treasurer Autumn Dicke, Riley McCartney, Chris Shaltry, and Izzy Sommer) narrated this classic with everything from witty quips to deeply serious sentiments, guiding the audience through Scrooge’s unique adventure.

Additional cast members included seniors Ellasyn Bruner and Aleiha Fenton, as well as Pearl Smith, Lilli Stevens, Trisha Wells, and Elijah Worden who rounded out the ensemble cast.

Greenville High School Theatre Club prides itself on producing truly student-led productions. In this rendition of “A Christmas Carol,” even the blocking and choreography were all student-created.

Vice President Mya Conway led much of the work behind the scenes along with help from Head Stage Manager Kylie Voisard and Assistant Stage Manager Camden Mathis. Additional crew included Joslyn Crist, Henry Jordan, and Copeland Woodall as Run Crew; Gavin Swank (Tech Representative) and Jennifer Nguyen for Lights and Sound, respectively; Camden Mathis, Will Gettinger, Alex Matamoros, Luke Rammel, Noah Stevens, Ella Strawn, and Copeland Woodall as Set Construction; and Ron Asman and Doug Cole as House Tech Managers.

Director Steve Buckingham knew the challenge he and the cast and crew were undertaking when choosing this major production after losing 12 theater veterans to graduation last spring, and the risk paid off. “This was one of the most rewarding shows that I’ve been a part of at GHS. The students worked very hard to come together in a whole group effort, and the officers in particular did so many things both big and small to provide outstanding leadership that took us over the top. I am very proud of them,” said Buckingham.

Following the opening performance, two Greenville middle-schoolers shared their impressions, “It was awesome! It was so cool! We loved it!”

According to seventh-grader Ashlynn Flatter, the best parts were “when the past, present, and future ghosts came.”

Marcella Marlett (grade seven) disagreed, saying, “My favorite was actually the very beginning… the Carolers were hilarious! And, honestly, I liked when Ebenezer was screaming a lot at Tiny Tim’s dad [Bob Cratchit].” Evidently some people actually enjoy Scrooge’s more cantankerous side!

Follow Greenville High School Theatre Club on Instagram for news of their next production: ghstheatreprogram.

Reach Daily Advocate Reporter Dawn Hatfield at [email protected] or 937-569-0066.

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