By Richard Rourk
The Unicoi County High School drama department invites the community to come be a part of a holiday classic from the imagination of one of the greatest figures in British literature in performances on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 4-5.
Citizens of all ages are invited to attend the UCHS holiday production of “A Christmas Carol,” a radio-on-the-stage play by Anthony E. Palermo, adapted from Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella.
The show will be performed by the Advanced Theatre Arts students and combines Dickens’ immortal classic story with a radio studio format. Audience members will provide the live “radio audience” as they listen to actors reenact the events that help change the miserly Scrooge into a generous friend to all.
Guests will be able to use their imagination as the actors use the amazing dialogue, sound effects and music (also composed and arranged by Palermo) to create this classic holiday tale of transformation.
Enjoy seeing Scrooge change as he is visited by the three famous ghosts while the drama students take the audience back to the bygone days of radio.
UCHS drama teacher Lori Ann Wright described “A Christmas Carol” as a wonderful holiday story.
“The students always enjoy playing the iconic characters as they explore Dickens’ world, including the history of the time and accents,” Wright added. “The characters in the play offer such a wide range of personalities to be shown on the stage. The students can really have fun building and creating with this powerful story.”
UCHS students Sydney Compton (Ghost) and Seth Hopson (Scrooge), especially enjoy the radio-on-the-stage aspects of the show.
“Our performance is different and won’t be like an ordinary run of the show,” Compton said.
Hopson took the opportunity to make the character of Scrooge his own.
“We all have put little pieces of ourselves into the characters and made it our own,” Hopson said.
For Sumner Hillsgrove, who plays Marley’s ghost, the complex characters involved in the show made the experience even more enjoable.
“I like that we are playing complex characters that have emotional shifts,” Hillsgrove said. “It challenges me as an actor.”
The cast and crew is comprised of Theatre Arts III students: Bryson Berry, Samuel Berry, Leah Brotherton, Trinity Buckles, Jala Chandley, Sydney Compton, Ella Fennell, Diego Hernanadez, Gidien Higgins, Sumner Hillsgrove, William Hopson, Jayden Howard, Kadence Howard, Branson Peterson, Rocio Reynoso, Emily Rice, Brandon Shelton, Lucas Slagle, Stone Sparks and David Tipton.
Performances are Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 5, at 3 p.m. in the UCHS Auditorium. Tickets are $5 for adults. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Doors open and tickets go on sale 15 minutes before each performance.