A Gift to the Community: South Coast Repertory Releases Free Audio Performance of A Christmas Carol
Featuring South Coast Repertory Founding Member Richard Doyle
COSTA MESA, Calif. (Dec. 7, 2020)—South Coast Repertory (Artistic Director David Ivers; Managing Director Paula Tomei) has the perfect cure for the holiday humbugs: A Christmas Carol, in a new adaptation from Charles Dickens’ novella about a miserly man’s miraculous transformation. Actor Richard Doyle, one of SCR’s founding members, stars in this free audio performance that includes a vibrant soundscape by composer and audio designer David R. Molina. The performance is directed by Hisa Takakuwa, who was to direct the stage version of A Christmas Carol this year, using a script adapted by John Glore, the theatre’s associate artistic director. The audio performance will be available on scr.org, Dec. 15-31. Reservations may be made at scr.org or by calling the Box Office at (714) 708-5555.
This audio performance is part of SCR commUNITY, the theatre’s new digital platform dedicated to amplifying the artists and narratives of the region by producing stories inspired by or about the rich diversity of people living in Southern California.
“A Christmas Carol has been a rich tradition for South Coast Repertory and Orange County for four decades,” said Artistic Director David Ivers. “In this year without live performances, we couldn’t let the holidays go by without celebrating it through Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformational story. 2020 was to be the year that Founding Member Richard Doyle stepped in to portray Scrooge in our stage production of A Christmas Carol. But with COVID-19, we will watch him take that step in 2021. This year’s audio performance is the perfect way to bridge our past to our future, celebrate Richard’s extraordinary talents and connect at this holiday time with the Orange County community.”
Glore adapted the script from Dickens’ edited performance version of the novella, which Dickens used when touring abroad and performing as a solo actor.
More than a dozen Orange County arts organizations will also share the audio performance with their constituents: Arts Orange County; Bowers Museum; Chance Theater; Festival of the Arts of Laguna Beach; Laguna Playhouse; Muckenthaler Cultural Center; OC Theatre Guild; Pacific Chorale; Pacific Symphony; Philharmonic Society of Orange County; Segerstrom Center for the Arts; Soka Performing Arts Center; and UCI Claire Trevor School of the Arts.
“We can’t wait to share this Christmas Carol with the entire Orange County community and are very grateful to the arts organizations who are partnering with us to spread the cheer,” said Managing Director Paula Tomei.
For Hisa Takakuwa, who is directing the audio performance, there was only one person in her mind to cast. “We crafted this performance with Richard Doyle in mind—as SCR audiences know, he is a masterful actor and storyteller,” she said.
A Christmas Carol has deep, personal connections for Richard Doyle: it was the first “real” play he saw as a child and he has been a part of SCR’s holiday production of A Christmas Carol for 37 years, taking on a variety of roles.
“I was so looking forward to stepping into the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol this year,” said Doyle. “Although not ‘onstage,’ in this audio performance I am able to be the storyteller, Scrooge, and the voices of several other characters. I hope our audience enjoys hearing this production as much as I have enjoyed telling it. I look forward to seeing everyone next season onstage at SCR for the 2021 production of A Christmas Carol.”
THE CREATIVE TEAM
Richard Doyle (Performer) is an SCR Founding Member, most recently seen in SCR’s Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley (2020) and in the 40th anniversary production of A Christmas Carol (2019). In 2021, he will take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge in SCR’s production of A Christmas Carol on the Segerstrom Stage. Doyle also was seen in at SCR in Kings, Rest and The Weir, among more than 200 SCR productions. His other favorites include Holy Days; The Beard of Avon; You, Nero; Men’s Singles; Unsuitable for Adults (U.S. premiere); Playland; Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune; The Crucible; Intimate Exchanges; Cyrano; A View from the Bridge; Of Mice and Men; and, from SCR’s Third Step Theatre, The Tavern by George M. Cohan. Live stage is Doyle’s first love, but he has also kept busy with film and television including a longtime continuing role as Mr. Gaines on “Cheers” and several roles in “M*A*S*H,” as well as Air Force One, Mass Appeal and the independent feature, Abduction of Angie. Voice acting brought him face to face with the genesis of his love for live performance: storytelling. His work as an animation voiceover actor ranges from “Sky Commanders” and The Chimp Channel, to video and motion capture, performances in dozens of video games like “MGS 3” as Big Boss, to podcasts like “Exeter” and “Solve.” A decade ago, Doyle was noticed by The Pageant of the Masters and tapped to be the live show narrator for this unique event, where he enjoins the audience to “enjoy the show.” For this special audio performance, he hopes that you will “Enjoy the Show!”
Hisa Takakuwa (Director) is set to direct the 2021 production of A Christmas Carol when the show returns to the Segerstrom Stage; she previously served as assistant director on the show for 14 season and was an actor in the show 14 years. She helms SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and education and outreach programs and has directed numerous Theatre Conservatory Players productions including adaptations of Dickens’ Oliver Twist, David Copperfield and Hard Times. After completing her professional training as an actor, Takakuwa appeared at SCR in The Man Who Came to Dinner and in 13 Educational Touring productions. Her other acting credits include work as a resident artist at A Noise Within, Indiana Repertory Theatre, Sundance Institute’s Children’s Theatre, Playwrights Lab and Grove Shakespeare Festival. Her other directing credits include Twelfth Night and Henry V at Actors Co-op Theatre Company (Hollywood). In 2019, she received an honorable mention from the Tony Awards Excellence in Theatre Education Award and, with Erin McNally, the California Educational Theatre Association’s Professional Artist Award. She received her BA from Smith College and MFA from CalArts.
John Glore (Playwright) has been SCR’s associate artistic director since 2005. He is an award-winning playwright whose work for young audiences includes Wind of a Thousand Tales, Folktales Too, Rhubarb Jam, The Day After Evermore and adaptations of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales and The Night Fairy. His adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time debuted at SCR in 2010 and has since moved on to more than a dozen productions nationwide. His plays for adults include On the Jump, The Company of Heaven, Preludes and Fugues and City Sky (a scenario for a dance piece). With the performance trio Culture Clash, he has co-authored adaptations of two plays by Aristophanes, The Birds and Peace. His work has been produced at South Coast Repertory, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Children’s Theatre Company, the Coterie, the Getty Villa and elsewhere. He received a 2000 Playwrights Fellowship from the California Arts Council and has occasionally taught playwriting and related subjects at UCLA and Pomona College.
David R. Molina (Sound Design, Original Music Carol Arrangement, Musician, Engineer and Editor) is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, sound artist, music producer and instrument inventor. Over the past 24 years, he has created music for all the performing arts, multimedia installations, film and radio, performed with many bands and produced albums nationally and internationally. He has worked with Juliette Carrillo for most of those years. Molina recently composed music and sound for Octavio Solis’ Quixote Nuevo, which toured last fall and winter to Connecticut, Boston and Houston. His honors include an Ovation Award for Sound Design (2009). His invented instruments, made from salvaged and discarded materials, have been featured at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Broad Museum (Los Angeles), Oakland Museum of California, McLoughlin Gallery, and SOMArts (San Francisco). He has collaborated with bands including TAU (Berlin), Emanative (U.K.) and El Paso (Peru). Molina’s bands are Impuritan, Ghosts and Strings, and Transient. http://drmsound.com/home-2
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The Lab@SCR—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers and composers. Of SCR’s 534 productions, one-quarter 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