When it comes to stories, no Christmas tale is more legendary than Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and this year, Prince George citizens have a novel way to connect with the tale this year. The Cedars Christian School senior drama class is presenting a live radio show of the story, complete with all live sound effects, set in a 1940s radio studio with a live radio audience.
This drama takes place on Thursday, December 13 and Friday, December 14 at 7 p.m. at Lakewood Alliance Church (corner of Fifth and Ospika). Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $10/ticket for the first two tickets and then additional tickets in a family (up to four more) are just $5 each. They can be ordered by heading to www.cedars.bc.ca/events
The cast of just six actors plays multiple roles, just as they would in a “real” 1940s radio drama. If at any point an audience member is unclear as to who is speaking, they can simply close their eyes and “listen to the radio” and the fact that the actor who plays the Ghost of Christmas Past is also Belle in the same scene won’t be an issue. (The script calls for Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim to be played by the same actors, as well.)
The students are amazing. The play requires a great deal of skill as the actors must shift their voices and posture to communicate the character they’re portraying. The all-female cast has worked hard, despite heavy course loads, part-time employment and comprising more than half of the senior girls volleyball team who the refs voted “Most Sportsmanlike Team” at provincials.
They met for one-on-one coaching over lunch and gave up two evenings a week to prepare this drama for you. Jaden Bergstrom delivers a moving performance as Ebenezer Scrooge. Most other cast members play six to eight different roles: Abigail Worthington, Katriel Hrankowski, Lindsay Hempstead, Jenevieve Wilson, and Maillee Taylor. As Foley Artist, Joel Nelson’s inventive sound effects make our auditory soundscape real. Just as in the Theatre Northwest production, he’s committed to all “live,” non-digital sound effects. Stage Manager Angela Aitken did a brilliant job of keeping track of details and served as photographer, as well.
“I love stories, and the way imagination fills in the blanks when you listen to an audio book or a radio drama,” said Director Caroljoy Green. “I grew up listening to ‘Old Time Radio’ shows from long before my time on Saturdays in Chicago and spent hours hanging around radio studios from this time period as my dad hosted a live, drive-time cost-to-cost radio show for years. When I saw Theatre Northwest’s live radio play of It’s A Wonderful Life last year I was inspired.”
Many, many people including Jack Grinhaus, artistic director at Theatre Northwest, and John Reilly, production manager offered assistance as the community came together to create the set, locate costumes and provide technical expertise that helped make our drama a success.