GREENVILLE — What would happen if authors Charles Dickens and Dr. Suess collaborated on a Christmas play?
Audience members had the opportunity to find out as students with Final Bow Center for Children’s Performing Arts staged “A Seussified Christmas Carol” Friday and Saturday at St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville.
The show is described by its playwright, Peter Bloedel, as “A whimsical reinvention of Dickens’ most beloved Christmas story in wacky rhymed couplets. With zoot fruited juices and binka bird geese, from Bed-Headed Fred to Timmy Loo Hoo, this tale of glorious holiday cheer is similar to something Dr. Seuss might have come up with — if he ever had his way with the story…”
Final Bow Co-Founder and Director Becky Hootman said the play, featuring students aged 7 through high school, presented a unique challenge for its performers.
“It’s the Charles Dickens story with Suess characters and the entire script is rhyming,” she said. “It was tough, because of everything rhyming. If one person got off it kind of threw off everybody [in rehearsals].”
Nonetheless, Hootman said she was very pleased with her young performers.
“They’ve done a great job. I’m very proud of them, they’ve worked very hard,” she said.
The show featured Erin Stephens as THE Scrooge, Carter Qualls as his friend, Jake Marley, with Nina McDaniel and Callee Moore as Narrator (Thing) 1 and 2. THE Scrooge’s nephew, Bed-Headed Fred, and his wife were played by Kamdon Riethman and Gracelynn Harter. The Cratchit family is made up of Ian Delk as Bob Chratchit, Scrooge’s clerk, Zoe Harter as the Mother, Lillian Price and Carter Qualls as Cratchit Children and dear little Timmy Loo Hoo played by Taylor Holzapfel. Ella Williams haunted Scrooge as the Ghost of Christmas Past along with Isabel Angle as The Ghost of Christmas Present and Gabe Stephens as Sven, the Ghost of Christmas Future.
The Solicitors were played by Aldon Edger and Elizabeth Nelson, Boy Scrooge by Tucker Qualls, Little Fan (Scrooge’s sister) by Macey Shetler, with Lindsey McDermott as the School Master and Belle, (Young Scrooge’s girlfriend) played by Josie Winemiller. Several cast members were called upon to play multiple parts along with being Whoo-Villagers. These cast members included Gabrielle Nelson, Olivia Angle, Anna Stump, Maria McDaniel, Christina Crawford, Maddy Cooper, Victoria Cave, and Makaila Palmer.
Though this performance is over, Final Bow will begin a new season in January.
“We have online registration on our website. We have dance as well as the theater,” said Hootman, encouraging youngsters to become involved.
Final Bow is a nonprofit organization that strives to make the arts an enjoyable and affordable experience. It offers many opportunities throughout the year for children to feel enriched in the performing arts. For more information, go online to Final Bow’s Facebook page, visit www.finalbow.org or call 937-459-8078.
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