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A Christmas Carol at Berkshire Theatre Festival

Fifth Annual Production Dec. 11 to 30

By: BTF - 10/29/2010

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Eric Hill returns as Scrooge.
Eric Hill returns as Scrooge.
Scrooge has a rough night.
Scrooge has a rough night.
We wish you a merry Christmas.
We wish you a merry Christmas.
God bless you Tiny Tim.
God bless you Tiny Tim.

Berkshire Theatre Festival (BTF) is pleased to announce the casting of this December’s production of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, adapted by Eric Hill.  Eric Hill will reprise his role as Ebenezer Scrooge while E. Gray Simons III will return as Jacob Marley, the now deceased partner of Scrooge.  The pair will also co-direct again this season.  Joining these two will be four of Berkshire Theatre Festival’s Artists-in-Residence; two graduate students from BTF’s partner academic institution: Brandeis University; and many members of the Berkshire county area, including the wife and twin sons of James Taylor: Caroline (Kim), Henry, and Rufus.

 The production runs from December 11 – 30 at the Unicorn Theatre and will once again be co-directed by Eric Hill and E. Gray Simons III.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for children and can be purchased from the Berkshire Theatre Festival Box Office at 413-298-5576 ext. 33 or online at www.berkshiretheatre.org

 
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 Eric Hill (Scrooge, Co-Director) will return to direct and star for the fifth year in a row.  He is known for his distinctive directing style and powerful stage images. This past season Mr. Hill directed BTF’s productions of Macbeth and Endgame.  Additional BTF directing credits include Faith Healer, The Einstein Project, Amadeus, The Glass Menagerie, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Caretaker.  Previous acting credits include A Man for All Seasons, Dimetos, and The Father.  Mr. Hill also serves as the Louis, Francis and Jeffrey Sachar Professor of Theater Arts at Brandeis University. 

 Co-Director E. Gray Simons III (Marley, Old Joe) has worked at BTF for more than a decade as an actor, playwright, teacher, and director.  He most recently directed over 125 local community members in the BTF PLAYS! production of Annie.  Mr. Simons’s previous BTF directing credits include Babes in Arms, Peter Pan, Oliver!, Where Has Tommy Flowers Gone, and Holiday Memories.  Previous acting credits include One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Moby Dick Rehearsed, and Wilder, Wilder.

The additional adult members of the company are:

Michael Brahce (Narrator) returns for his second season as the Narrator for A Christmas Carol.  He is an Artist-in-Residence with BTF PLAYS!, acting in this year’s touring production of History’s Mysteries.  He’s previously been seen at BTF in Babes in Arms, Candide, and Hansel and Gretel’s Grimm Tale.

Emily Cooper (Female Party Guest, Chorus) is also an Artist-in-Residence this year.  She can be seen in the touring production of History’s Mysteries.  A recent graduate of Western Kentucky University, Emily worked this summer in the development office for BTF.

Sam Gillam (Young Scrooge, Man of Business, Male Party Guest) is also an Artist-in-Residence performing in History’s Mysteries.  As an Acting Apprentice this summer he appeared in Macbeth.

Jesse Hinson (Fred) reprises his role as Fred for the second year.  He is in the graduate acting program at Brandeis University and has previously been seen at BTF in Macbeth and The Einstein Project.

Rebecca Leigh (Mrs. Fred, Chorus) is an Artist-in-Residence at BTF this summer, appearing in the touring production of History’s Mysteries.  She has previously been seen at BTF in this summer’s Children’s Theatre Company production of Annie.

Ralph Petillo (Solicitor, Christmas Present, Fezziwig, Man of Business) returns for his third season of A Christmas Carol.  He has previously been seen at BTF in Annie, Macbeth, Peter Pan, Oliver!  He also directed 2009’s Unicorn Company production of Candide.

Samantha Richert (Christmas Past, Charwoman) is in the graduate acting program at Brandeis University.  Previous BTF roles include Babes in Arms and Candide.

Mark Rosenthal (Bob Crachit) is an area actor.  He appeared at BTF in this summer’s production of Annie and participated in numerous BTF Friday Series Readings.

Gail Ryan (Mrs. Fezziwig, Laundress) is back for her second season of A Christmas Carol.  She is a frequent participant in the BTF Friday Series Readings.

Caroline (Kim) Taylor (Mrs. Crachit) makes her BTF debut in this season’s production.  She is a frequent collaborator with her husband, recording artist James Taylor.

Chris Vecchia (Belle’s Husband, Undertaker, Solicitor, Man of Business, Topper) debuted with BTF this September in our Children’s Theatre Company Production of Annie.

Local area children who will appear in the show, along with their roles:

Kori Alston (Dick Wilkins, Christmas Yet-to-Come, Chorus); Lindsay Belair (Dorit Cratchit); Alee Danyluk (Violinist, Chorus); Caroline Fairweather (Martha Crachit); Daniel Garrity (Peter Crachit); Amy Kane (Chorus); Hanna Koczela (Fan, Chorus); Joey LaBrasca (Student, Turkey Boy, Chorus); Michelena Mastrianni (Chorus); Anna Grace Nimmo (Ignorance, Chorus); McKenna Powell (Belle); Abby Schilling (Want, Chorus); Henry Taylor (Tiny Tim); Rufus Taylor (Younger Scrooge, Chorus); Emelyn Theriault (Belle’s Daughter, Chorus).

Victorian England will come to life on the Unicorn stage through the work of talented designers from the BTF family.  This year’s production features scenic design by Carl Sprague, costume design by Jessica Risser-Milne, lighting design by Matthew E. Adelson, sound design by J Hagenbuckle, and movement by Isadora Wolfe.

The production calendar for A Christmas Carol is as follows:

Saturday, Dec 11--2pm, 7pm (Opening Night/Press Night followed by a Christmas-Cast party)
Sunday, Dec 12--2pm, 7pm
Friday, Dec 17--7pm
Saturday, Dec 18--2pm, 7pm
Sunday, Dec 19--2pm, 7pm
Tuesday, Dec 21--7pm
Wednesday, Dec 22--7pm
Thursday, Dec 23--7pm
Sunday, Dec 26--2pm, 7pm
Monday, Dec 27--7pm
Tuesday, Dec 28--7pm
Wednesday, Dec 29--7pm
Friday, Dec 30--7pm

BTF’s fifth annual production of A Christmas Carol will run December 11 –30.  Tickets to all performances are $20 for adults, $15 for children and students.  Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more.  Tickets can be purchased via the Box Office at 413-298-5576 ext. 33 or online at www.berkshiretheatre.org

 
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