Tuesday, July 23, 2024

A Christmas Carol Brilliantly Retold by Lancaster Catholic’s Fine and Performing Arts Team

Given Lancaster Catholic High School is in the midst of transforming its decades-old auditorium into a new home for the Crusaders’ Fine and Performing Arts production, the schools’ fall play had to transform, too. Under the direction of Mrs. Marion Wood O’Sullivan, who wrote an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famed A Christmas Carol, Lancaster Catholic students embraced taking the show on the road to five different schools in the Red Rose City area during Discover Catholic Schools Week. In addition, the show was performed in front of the general public on November 18.

Entitled A Christmas Carol Retold, the production featured some 20 performers who were complemented by a dozen stage hands. And since the show was a road show, the team built portable set designs and had to travel with their costume and makeup for their characters.

On November 17, the play was performed at St. John Neumann School in Lancaster, and it was acted in delightful fashion. The rendition featured Tre Hockley as a plausible, ever-the-humbug Ebenezer Scrooge, while the supporting cast of Murphy McCormick as business partner Marley and Hamish Francey as the pitiable Bob Crachit did a very admirable job in portraying their central roles. The sickly Tiny Tim was ably played by Patrick Fertal.

“In my own experience, I have seen the power [this play has to] captivate generations of audiences,” Mrs. O’Sullivan said. “From pop culture to serious theological debate, the deeper meanings of this work have made their mark on collective consciousness…. As a Catholic educator and artist directing for a predominately Catholic audience, I wanted to bring these theological discussions forward…. Like Scrooge, becoming aware of how important our choices are in a limited amount of time on Earth, shouldn’t we consider the state of our souls?”

English writer Charles Dickens wrote the novel A Christmas Carol in 1843. Oft forgotten about the original book is that artist John Leech beautifully illustrated the scenes which truly enhanced the ghost and Scrooge interactions effectively. The first edition was published on December 19 that year and by Christmas Eve the book was sold out in London. The first edition is one of the most sought after by book collectors worldwide, and one copy of that original run book sank with the Titanic in 1912, along with the fortune it was worth.

(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)

By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness

Scrooge – Tre Hockley
Marley – Murphy McCormick
Narrator & Frederika – Amelia Argyropoulos
Mr. Bob Crachit – Hamish Francey
Mrs. Crachit – Keira Hammond
Ghost of Christmas Past – Sydney Dissinger
Ghost of Christmas Present – Julie Leonard
Ghost of Christmas Future – Atticus Francey
Belle – Gianna Ostroski
Young Ebeneezer Scrooge – Patrick Fertal
Mr. Fezziwig – Hamish Francey
Mrs. Fezziwig – Piper Davidson
School Boy Ebeneezer Scrooge – Leo Lutz
Vendor – Hannah Greer
Good Samaritans – Camilla Marques & Savannah Schaeffer
Grave Diggers 1,2 & 3 – Sydney Dissinger, Julie Leonard, Murphy McCormick
Tiny Tim – Patrick Fertal
Martha– Rosa Schwartz
Belinda Cratchit – Sammy Leonard
Village Priest – Leo Lutz
Christmas Carolers & Ensemble – Rosa Schwartz, Caroline Mscisz, Sammy Leonard, Piper Davidson, & Tori Elliot

Stage Crew:
Stage Manager: Isabel Santiago
Assistant Stage Manager: Abigail Klein

Taylor Conklin
Maggie Conklin
Allison Hahalis
Ava Hayes
Abby Klein
Chris Pena
Isabel Santiago
Jack Senkowski
Kaylie Thompson
Amirah Villatoro

Production Team:
Director / Crew Coordinator: Marion O’Sullivan
Assistant Director / Artist: Susan Ulrich
Costume Designer & Seamstress:  Patee Pizzirusso
Scenic Builder: Ronnie Reynolds

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