SCR's A Christmas Carol—A Family Affiar
37th Annual Production Includes 16 Theatre Conservatory Students
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Nov. 3, 2016)—
On their first day of rehearsal for South Coast Repertory’s production of A Christmas Carol, which runs on the Segerstrom Stage Nov. 25 through Dec. 24, the show’s youngest cast members gathered for group photographs. In a time-honored tradition, they followed the lead of John-David Keller, the show’s director, and donned colorful holiday scarves for the occasion. Then the young actors were off to dive into the script. Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now at www.scr.org.
The 16 actors are students in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and were chosen through auditions open to all third-year students and above, as well as second-year students recommended by their instructors. The role of Tiny Tim is cast separately, with a few first-year students who have shown exceptional focus and maturity in class and fit the role physically being offered an audition.
The young people are divided into red and green teams and alternate in eight roles. After the second week of rehearsals, and during the run of the show, they perform with their teams on alternate days, to allow them time to spend at home with their families during the holidays.
For Keller, the young actors are vital to the show’s success.
“I can’t emphasize enough how important they are to A Christmas Carol,” he said. “Many scenes are anchored by the children, and some of the most important moments involve them.”
He added that they bring a freshness and enthusiasm to their performances—13 of the 16 are new to the show.
“That enhances the feeling of family for the adult actors, most of whom are old timers. Once the kids join the cast, our family is complete,” Keller said.
The young actors include Amanda Fassett/Jamie Ostmann (Martha Cratchit), Natalie Bright/Timory Taber (Belinda Cratchit), JT Casey/Nikolas Trafton (Peter Cratchit), Maggie Elizabeth Moland/Nikolas Harris (Tiny Tim), Alexis Rangell-Onweugbuzi/MoniQue Rangell (Fan/Teen Girl), Kemper Rodi/Katelyn E Park (Girl About Town), Philip “PJ” Giglia/Grady Farman (Young Ebenezer/Oliver Shelley), Shane Smith/Layton Melching (Turkey Boy).
Cast by Cities:
Brea – JT Casey
Corona del Mar – Nikolas Harris
Costa Mesa – Kemper Rodi, Timory Taber
Fullerton – Maggie Elizabeth Moland
Huntington Beach – Alexis Rangell-Onwuegbuzi, MoniQue Rangell, Grady Farman
Irvine – Natalie Bright, Amanda Fassett, Philip “PJ” Giglia
Lake Forest – Nicholas Trafton
Los Alimitos – Jamie Ostmann
Placentia – Katelyn E. Park
Santa Ana – Leyton Melching
Tustin – Shane Smith
A Christmas Carol runs on the Segerstrom Stage Nov. 25 – Dec. 24, 2016. For more information, visit www.scr.org
Upcoming Family Friendly Productions: Mr. Popper’s Penguins (Nov. 4-20) by Robert and Florence Atwater, adapted for the stage by Robert Kauzlaric; A Christmas Carol (Nov. 25-Dec. 24) adapted by Jerry Patch; Flora & Ulysses (Feb. 3-19, 2017) by John Glore, adapted from the book by Kate DiCamillo; and Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (May 19-June 4, 2017) adapted for the stage by Bruce Mason and based on the book by Judy Blume.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. www.scr.org