Christmas classic restored on SVSU stage
December 6, 2010 —
Time travel is only a step away in the Malcolm Field Theatre this week.
Audience members will find themselves back in 1940 during a live radio recording of Charles’ Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
Students will act as radio actors while reading the script. They will have to change characters quickly throughout the show.
They will have to think, “As an actor playing an actor, what am I doing,” said Ric Roberts, theater professor and co-director of the show.
David Rzeszutek, lecturer of theatre, is the other codirector of this show.
In old radio shows, all sounds were made live without the technology of a sound board. This show will follow this tradition. Roberts said they had to research to find out how they made the sounds in 1939 and recreate them.
“It’s kind of a lost art form,” he said.
When a person in the script opens and shuts a door, that sound will be recreated on stage.
Theater scholarship students and seniors in the department will act on stage as actors in this radio show. Rzeszutek said that two casts will alternate shows so that everyone is rewarded for their hard work.
Instead of having up to eight weeks of rehearsal, students only get 12 hours for this show because they don’t have to memorize lines — they will simply read the script of A Christmas Carol.
This will keep the actors their toes, especially since there are several character changes.
“We want everybody to be fresh,” said Roberts. “It’ll be interesting to see how they pull it off.”
Roberts said he wanted to do A Christmas Carol because everyone goes through some sort of life redemption regardless if they are Christian or not.
“That universal truth is why that book is so powerful,” he said.
Both Roberts and Rzeszutek said they liked the idea of a having an annual Christmas show.
“I think families are looking for something to do,” said Rzeszutek.
Roberts said they are trying something new to get more families to come. With every adult ticket sold, they will give a free ticket for children 12-years-old and under.
“It’s cheaper than a movie,” said Rzeszutek. “It’s just as exciting if not more exciting.”
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: A 1940’s Radio Play will be performed at 7:30 p.m., Thursday to Saturday, Dec. 9-11 in the Malcolm Field Theatre.
Tickets are $7 for students and seniors and $10 for general admission.