Today At 2 PM - Listen To West Virginia Public Theatre Perform 'A Christmas Carole' As A Radio Play
A Christmas Carol Live Radio Show
Listen on WVPB Radio December 24 at 7 PM and December 25 at 2 PM.
Live theater has been a challenge in 2020, but the staff of West Virginia Public Theatre refused to give up. Faced with the task of creating their traditional holiday show during a pandemic, the creative team came up with an old-fashioned idea for our current times.
With the utmost safety precautions in place, they gathered a group of actors, sound effects artists, designers and recording technicians to create a show in the tradition of live radio theater.
The result? A Christmas Carol Live Radio Show, recorded live by West Virginia Public Theater in collaboration with West Virginia Public Broadcasting.
“It is very important to the artistic staff and Board of Directors of WVPT that we continue our long-standing holiday tradition of providing moving and inspiring holiday theater events," said Jerry McGonigle, Artistic Director at WVPT. "We hope that our effort can contribute to the communal Christmas spirit captured in Charles Dickens’ uplifting ghost story, and that we, in our own small way, can help lift the gloom of 2020 for our audiences and friends.”
This year’s 'Christmas Carol' will be unlike any you’ve seen or listened to before, as it was adapted straight from the book by Andy Lyons, who plays Scrooge in the production.
“I realized during this process, and much to my surprise, that I have only been exposed to theatrical adaptations of 'A Christmas Carol' - both as an audience member, and as an actor,” Lyons said. “Dickens tells us exactly what the streets look and sound and smell like, what the people are wearing; even what the shadows look like falling on Scrooge's front door. Therefore, in most adaptations we see the descriptions - in the costumes, lighting, and set design - and only hear a fragment of what he wrote. So, I'm really looking forward to sharing this wonderful story in a medium that will allow more of Dickens' words to take us on this magical journey.”
The performance features eight actors playing 35 different characters. Additionally, there will be two Foley artists creating sound effects, such as wind blowing, doors shutting, ghostly ambiance, and rattling chains. The director, Lee Blair, has directed and performed in 'A Christmas Carol' before, but never in this capacity.
“This is my fifth 'Christmas Carol' in my career: three times acting and two times directing," said Blair. I’ve been Young Scrooge, Marley, The Ghost of Christmas Future and Scrooge himself.”
Before the rehearsal process began, all actors and creatives involved in the show were required to take rapid COVID-19 tests. Additionally, during the rehearsal process actors were spaced out, 8 feet apart, and required to wear masks at all times.
“Since we’ve been dealing with the pandemic since March really, theater has pretty much been shut down,” Blair said. “To be able to be back (safely) in a performance space with actors, designers, technicians, and for this project, cameramen and sound engineers, this 'Christmas Carol' was a true blessing and joy.”
From months of adapting the script, to hurdling the obstacles COVID-19 has thrown their way, West Virginia Public Theatre is proud to keep up their holiday traditions with a Christmas show and give this gift of live theater to the public.
You can listen to A Christmas Carol Live Radio Show on WVPB Radio statewide December 24, 2020 at 7 PM and December 25, 2020 at 2 PM.