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BETHEL — After a smashing debut in 2016, with numerous performances sold out, NewArts in partnership with the Walnut Hill Community Church is in the early stages of preparing for the sophomore run of A Christmas Carol under the direction of Michael Unger.
The popular Tommy Thompson version of Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic is set to run November 30 through December 10 in the church theater, where NewArts has presented its past two summer musical series, and debuted the A Christmas Carol last winter.
Just a few weeks following the closing of this summer’s musicals, Mr Unger told The Newtown Bee he is thrilled to be moving forward with the holiday season fixture, which relocated after a 16-year run under his leadership at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J.
“Last year, our version of this show was an experiment, virtually unknown in the area, so with its success we’re hoping to get even more members of the Newtown community involved,” Mr Unger said. At the same time, NewArts is already engaged in trying to attract Newtown and Bethel schools to schedule class field trips to see matinees of the show during its run.
“These will be educational experiences because they will involve some talkback sessions with some of the key production people after the performances, so students can ask questions,” Mr Unger said. “This is one of the world’s greatest classics, so it’s a great way to educate students about theater and Charles Dickens.”
There are acting roles for children and adults, as well as ensemble roles for children and adults (no acting necessary). There is also a dance ensemble for older children and adults (no acting or singing necessary); and a caroling ensemble that performs before the show and at intermission — and are also in a few scenes onstage.
The caroling ensemble has much lighter rehearsal commitment. Acting and singing auditions reservations, which need to be made online at newarts.org, are being scheduled for September 8-10 and 15-16.
Audition segments are expected to be about ten minutes, and a list of preparation requirements are listed on the website. Anyone cast in a certain role last year must reaudition.
There is the Tech Team, and a Parent Volunteer Team as well.
Auditions are for non-Equity performers aged 5 to 75, and some of the children’s roles will be double-cast with each cast doing five performances. All other performers will do all ten performances.
According to the audition notice, many roles do not require singing and some roles are dancing only. There is no fee to participate in this production, but there may be a nominal fee for costumes.
The performance schedule is as follows: Thursday, November 30, and Friday, December 1, at 7 pm; Saturday, December 2, at 2 and 7 pm; Sunday, December 3, at 2 pm; Thursday, December 7, and Friday, December 8, at 7 pm; Saturday, December 9, at 2 and 7 pm; and Sunday, December 10, at 2 pm.
Rehearsals will start on or about October 14, with technical rehearsals commencing around Thanksgiving. There will be a Thanksgiving break for everyone, however, Thursday and Friday, November 23 and 24.
For anyone having trouble signing up on the website, or for any specific audition questions, send e-mail to email@example.com