The theatre department’s production of “A Christmas Carol,” put a twist on the classic play using costuming, props and an interactive set.
Directed by David Skeele, “A Christmas Carol,” written by Charles Dickens, was shown in the old student union on Nov. 14 and Nov. 16-20 at 7:30 each night. The classic play featured the greedy, Christmas-hating Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Cole Vecchio, his nephew, played by EJ Christopher, his optimistic clerk, Bob Cratchit, played by Jimmy Valentino, and Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim, played by David Magliocca.
Scrooge gives Bob Cratchit Christmas Day off to celebrate with his family,and declines his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner, deciding to go to sleep instead. He is then visited by his dead partner, Jacob Marley, played by Anthony Plumberg, who warns Scrooge of the consequences of his greed, while henchmen pulled on the chains wrapped around him, restricting his movement. Marley warns him that he will be visited by three ghosts.
The Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Debrah Evans, wore a costume that was lit up by LED lights and moved around the stage on a dolly to give the appearance of floating as she showed Scrooge how happy his past was before he became greedy.
The Ghost of Christmas Present, played by junior theatre/acting major Jack C. Libengood, 24, wore a costume in the likeness of a Christmas tree, with ornaments attached. Because of the ornaments and lighting, Libengood said that his costume and Evans’ were more fragile than the Victorian-styled costumes the other actors wore.
“When the director came to me and said that he wanted me to dress as a Christmas tree, I was hesitant about how that would work,” Libengood said. “After seeing the whole outfit on me with the headpiece, and all of the tinsel, the character came together for me.”
Libengood said that the most difficult part of his role was that the Ghost of Christmas Present is supposed to be the embodiment of Christmas, and he felt that after each of his performances that he hadn’t achieved the jolliness that the character is supposed to have.
“I feel like my character is larger-than-life,” Libengood said. “As an actor, I can always go bigger and better than I had before. I was glad to have been a part of this show.”
The set of the play allowed the audience to become a part of it, and it even allowed for a group of attendees to sit on the stage itself. Aside from other props, the play also featured an eight-foot tall Grim-Reaper-esque Ghost of Christmas Future that was operated by the henchmen who had restricted Jacob Marley in the beginning.
Stage manager and assistant costume designer, junior theatre design and technology major, Alyssa Valentino, 20, said that the old student union allows for an interactive environment because it’s set up in a way that interaction between cast and audience is possible.
“I’ve seen ‘A Christmas Carol’ over 20 times with my dad,” Valentino said. “It’s so cool to see the show go up, and see my work and the actors’ work put into action.”