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SU Drama and Syracuse Stage bring holiday spirit to CNY with ‘A Christmas Carol’ beginning Nov. 28
SU Drama and Syracuse Stage bring holiday spirit to CNY with ‘A Christmas Carol’ beginning Nov. 28November 16, 2006Kyle Basskebass@syr.edu
The Syracuse University Drama Department and Syracuse Stage will have residents of Central New York saying “Happy Holidays” instead of “Bah, Humbug” this holiday season as SU Drama faculty member Rodney Hudson directs a cast of professional actors, SU Drama students and 14 local children in Charles Dickens’ heartwarming classic “A Christmas Carol” beginning Nov. 28. The show runs through Dec. 31 at the SU Drama/Syracuse Stage complex, 820 E. Genesee St. The performance is not part of the SU Drama or Syracuse Stage regular subscription series.
Another collaborative production with SU Drama, “A Christmas Carol” is the Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Family Holiday Series offering and a tale that has become a holiday tradition. Ebenezer Scrooge, the quintessential curmudgeon, learns his lesson — and the meaning of Christmas — when the ghostly spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future open his eyes to the consequences of his misanthropic, penny-pinching ways. The play, last seen at Syracuse Stage during the 1998?99 season, has been adapted by SU Drama faculty member Gerardine Clark and features music composed, adapted and arranged by Dianne Adams McDowell.
A cast of professional actors will take on the main roles. Ron Wisniski is Scrooge; Deanne Lorette is Mrs. Cratchit; David Lowenstein is Robert Cratchit, Christmas Past, and the Undertaker’s Assistant; Georga Osborne is Mrs. Moggs and Christmas Present; Neva Rae Powers is Mrs. Dilber and Mrs. Fezziwig; and Jeffery V. Thompson is Fezziwig and Old Joe.
Cast members from the SU Drama department include juniors Crystal Bailey, Benjamin G. Coleman, Kara DeYoe, Joe Grandy, Chrissy Malon, Gordon Maniskas, Drew Moerlein and Theodore Tinson and seniors Eric Bilitch, Alexis DeDonato, Colleen Fee and Amy Walsh.
Fourteen local children will join the professional actors and SU Drama students for the production. The children’s roles are double cast, with two groups of local youngsters appearing in alternate performances. Nicholas Deapo of Liverpool, and Benjamin Parker Greenman of Syracuse, share the role of Tiny Tim. Other local youth in the production include Courtney Ellis of DeWitt, Camille Francis of Syracuse, Alec and Amanda Funiciello of Baldwinsville, Kara Gantos of DeWitt, Hali Greenhouse of Syracuse, Savannah Harmon of Cicero, George Kilpatrick III of Syracuse, Sarah Lester of Baldwinsville, Charlie McDonald of Cazenovia, Aidan Procopio of Syracuse and Ryan Terhune of Skaneateles.
Hudson makes his Syracuse Stage directing debut with this production. Hudson says he enjoys working with children, believing that children in the play will help the audience connect with the meaning of the holidays and their own fond memories.
“When you hear a little child singing a Christmas carol, it starts to work on the old heartstrings,” he says. “Even now, at my ripe old age, when I hear Christmas carols being sung, I go back to the time when I was a kid. I want the audience to remember that.”
The artistic staff for “A Christmas Carol” includes set designer Tony Cisek, costume designer Tracey Dorman, lighting designer Dawn Chiang, sound designer Jonathan Herter and musical director Nathan Hurwitz, with musical staging by SU Drama faculty member Anthony Salatino.
Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” range in price from $22-$50 and are available by calling the Syracuse Stage Box Office at 443-3275 or visiting http://www.SyracuseStage.org.