‘A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play’ at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre

Published 3:49 pm Monday, December 5, 2022

By Pam Johnson
Contributed Content
Step back to the 1930s to experience the creation of a live radio performance of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, running December 9-18. This unique telling of Ebeneezer Scrooge and the ghostly visits will both entertain you and open your eyes to how radio programs were produced almost a century ago.
“The audience will see a radio studio created before their eyes,” said director Tom Flagg. “A bare stage is turned into the broadcast studio and once the play begins, all the sound effects will be created live by our two stage managers. Adult actors will voice several characters, even little children, just as radio plays were done in the 1930s and ’40s. The action happens in the audience’s mind, and the entire play is created without costume changes, set changes, or actors moving about the stage. The vitality of the story is in the hearing rather than the seeing.”
This is a creative way to bring to life the familiar characters of Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and Jacob Marley, as well as the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future. You’ll want to close your eyes and imagine this story through the voices and sound effects, but you’ll also want to watch how the actors transition from one character to another.
“The cast list is short, but the character list is somewhat long,” said cast member Lucas Schmidt. “Meaning the audience will get to see us portray multiple roles each. Watching actors transform into their respective roles quickly is very entertaining.”
“Come and enjoy a radio play just as your grandparents or great-grandparents might have done,” encouraged Flagg. “Enjoy a story that you create in your own imagination. A story with characters you’ve created, knowing that your story is different than that of the person sitting next to you in the theatre. A radio play is a very personal experience. Come join us and we’ll imagine together.”
A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play is adapted for the stage by Joe Landry, with music by Kevin Connors. The show is directed by Tom Flagg. Rounding out the cast are Darrell Fowler, Janette Gaines, John Greenwood, Robert McCrary, Tom Sizemore, Emma Tate, and Zephaniah Wells.
The production is sponsored by Pamela & Dan Pope, McLeod Organics, and Sonia King.
Tickets are $18 general admission, $16 for students and seniors. There is also a special group rate for parties of 15 or more. To purchase tickets, call the Historic Jonesborough Visitors Center at 423-753-1010 or go online to jonesboroughtheatre.com. The theatre is located at 125-1/2 W. Main St., Jonesborough, Tenn.
*The JRT is collecting food for the Jonesborough Food Pantry. Please drop off your non-perishable items when you attend a show.

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