A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Sixth Annual Production by The Walpole Players
The Walpole Players have excitedly begun rehearsals for their Sixth Annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale A CHRISTMAS CAROL. It will be presented Wednesday through Saturday, December 11, 12, 13 and 14, 2013, in the Helen Miller Theater at the Walpole Town Hall with Mr. Dickens arriving at 7 PM. As always, admission is free, but the players ask that you make a cash donation at the door to benefit local food shelves. In its first five years, over $16,760 has been contributed, with 100% of all those donations going to The Fall Mountain Food Shelf and Our Place Drop-In Center. Any expenses of the production are borne by the Players.
Co-directors, Tara Sad and Ray Boas, grew concerned as auditions approached. “We had so much interest early on we knew would would have more people auditioning than available parts,” Tara stated. “There are only so many speaking roles, particularly for children,” Ray continued to say, “and we have so many of our junior players, who attend our summer theater camp, and have matured and were hoping to be cast in a speaking part.” “When so many came to auditions we knew we had to do something because in the past we always cast everyone,” Tara said. The perfect solution – five of the children’s roles will be shared by ten youngsters. “And,” Tara happily concluded, “everyone was thrilled to be cast.” Forty-four people are in this year’s cast of A CHRISTMAS CAROL not including the carolers which will be singing preceding Mr. Dickens’ arrival.
Again, Ray has continued to make minor adjustments to his adaptation of Dickens’ tale “The story stays the same, of course, but I can add and subtract to the vignettes providing some variety for our faithful audiences,” Ray mentions, “and again we have added to our special effects for this year.” The Walpole Players’ production features Mr. Dickens reading (as he often did at public appearances and benefits) and over a dozen scenes are acted out by the players behind a magical scrim. “It continues to amaze us that so many are willing to give of their time for an intense five weeks during this busy time of year to raise funds to help those less fortunate,” Tara said.
Tickets to the 7 PM production on December 11, 12, 13 and 14 are required because of limited space, and hold your seat until 6:45. “No one has ever been turned away at the door,” Ray happily relates, “but I have had to put up additional chairs to accommodate additional guests.” The free tickets are available in Walpole at Real to Reel; Galloway Real Estate; Costume Ladies; Murray’s and Jake’s; and, in Bellows Falls, Vermont at Village Square Booksellers.
For any questions call Ray Boas 603 756-4545 or Tara Sad 603 756-4861. Full details are on The Walpole Players’ website www.thewalpoleplayers.org A CHRISTMAS CAROL has been read and performed since 1843 — and since 2008 in Walpole. Please mark your calendars to attend and be included in Walpole’s tradition.
- Click on this link to print your own 8 1/2 by 11 copy of the poster (you may have to print at 95%)
A CHRISTMAS CAROL — CONCLUDED FOR A FIFTH TIME
Almost 500 people were in the audiences on 12-15 December to enjoy The Walpole Player’s fifth annual production of Charles Dickens’ classic tale, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. “It was gratifying to see so many new and younger faces join us this year,” Ray Boas observed while greeting the guests at the door, “to hear Dickens’ tale and receive his timeless message.”
Each year Tara Sad and Ray Boas, co-directors of the production, have made small changes to the cast and effects, and this year was no exception. In fact, this year more changes and additions were made than in the past four years. The entrances of the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present were brought more to life in keeping with Dickens’ descriptions, and the Fezziwig dance was choreographed by a professional to the delight of the dancers and audiences both. With a cast of just under 50 “players” many of Dickens’ characters were portrayed by different people this year providing variety not only for the actors but for the faithful audience members who have returned every year. In fact, everyone involved commented that this year’s performances were the best all round since the first production in 2008. It was the magical mix of the cast and their interactions that made this year’s show so phenomenal. Michael Wright of Charlestown played Scrooge this year, and not only made suggestions for Scrooge interacting with the audience following Scrooge’s redemption, but gave everyone an outstanding interpretation of Scrooge’s transformation enabled by his three ghostly visitors. Playing Marley, Scrooge’s late business partner, for the second year, Jim Baucom finely tuned his performance fettered in chains terrifying not only Scrooge but some
audience members as well. If you did not attend this year thinking that you had seen the show, you would have been truly amazed at the subtle but profound differences and improvements. And these subtle changes from year to year will continue to delight and bring you back again and again promises Ray. “I have one effect I have been working on for four years, and hope to get it right to introduce in 2013,” he has commented.
But most important in keeping with the lessons learned by Ebenezer Scrooge, this year’s audiences contributed almost $3700 to the Fall Mountain Food Shelf and Our Place Drop In Center. The cast too, in addition to the number of hours of hard work since the first audition on November 7th, made a generous cash contribution to these important organizations. The total cash contributions in the first five years of Walpole’s newest tradition have now exceeded $16,700. Mark your calendars now because The Walpole Players will present A CHRISTMAS CAROL for the sixth time 11, 12, 13 and 14 December 2013.