‘A Christmas Carol’ returns to Hangar Theatre stage

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Return to 19th-century London this December with the Hangar Theatre’s celebrated production of “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” running Dec. 8-22.

Join Ebenezer Scrooge as he is visited by the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future in a timeless tale of hope and redemption. This retelling of Charles Dickens’ classic novel, adapted for the Hangar stage by Ithaca’s own Aoise Stratford and directed by Hangar Artistic Director Michael Barakiva, brings a contemporary perspective to the story while remaining true to the time-honored tale of generosity that resonates during the holiday season. Adults and children alike will enjoy this wonderful world of music, costumes and magic.  

 “‘A Christmas Carol’ is a story about community and family, so a decision was made to cast the production locally and hire local artists when possible,” Barakiva said. “That’s why the Hangar Theatre approached Aoise Stratford, a long-time Ithacan resident and Cornell faculty member, for our new adaptation, written specifically for the Hangar stage and the Ithaca community.”  

Currently on the faculty of Cornell University’s Department of Performing and Media Arts, Stratford developed “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” for its debut at the Hangar in 2017. 

Animating this holiday classic are its young actors, drawn from all points of greater Ithaca to perform at the Hangar. They include 10 new and six returning to the production. Selected by audition, these 16 talented students represent four high schools (Ithaca, Lansing, Newfield and Candor); three middle schools (DeWitt, Boyton and Trumansburg); and two elementary schools (Dryden and Cayuga Heights), as well as all levels of Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS) and one home-schooled thespian. Together, they help create a truly community-wide celebration of the season.

To lessen the demands on the young actors, who must fit in rehearsals and performances while maintaining their school schedules, this production actually features two youth companies of eight actors apiece, which appear on alternate nights. This year’s production includes three additional young cast members, giving more children the opportunity to participate. 

During their performance, each young actor plays multiple roles. For example, both Sirius Denoes and Jack Cecere (from Lansing High and LACS, respectively) cast as “Boy 1,” play Christopher, Peter Cratchit, Young Ebenezer and a Fezziwig guest. As “Girl 1,” Isabel Leyden-Githler and Sydney Lee (Newfield and Ithaca High Schools, respectively) appear as Ariella, Fan and Martha Cratchit.  

Among the veteran actors are the two boys sharing the role of Tiny Tim, Marcus Cornell (Dryden Elementary) and Hugo Lloyd (Cayuga Heights Elementary), who also play Prejudice and the Fortune Teller’s Pickpocket.  
Changes to the adult cast include the addition of Curzon Dobell, starring as Ebenezer Scrooge. Curzon is featured as Hosea Matthews in Rockstar’s video game Red Dead Redemption II. 

Curzon’s film and television work includes “House of Cards,” “Gotham” (recurring), “Bull,” “The Knick,” “John Adams,” “Law and Order,” “Mr Robot,” “The Blacklist,” “Return to Paradise,” Greg Orr’s “Alone” and “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” He played Richard Nixon in Steven Spielberg’s “The Post.”

On stage, he has worked in New York City at Lincoln Center, the Irish Rep, the Culture Center, SoHo Rep, the Mint, the Director’s Company and St Clement’s and five times for Theatre for a New Audience. 

Joshua Sedelmeyer, who has played Fred and Young Ebenezer the past two years and appeared in “You Can’t Take It With You in the Big Play Festival!” will step in to the role of Bob Cratchit.

Robert Edwards from Hangar’s “Lab Company” and “Kinky Boots” will play Fred and Young Ebenezer. Craig MacDonald from “You Can’t Take It With You in the Big Play Festival!” will play Mr. Price.

Reprising their 2018 roles are Hangar favorites JG Hertzler, Emma Bowers, Sally G. Ramírez, Sandrinne Edström, Holly Adams and many youth actors.

Together again on the creative team are Director Michael Barakiva, Production Stage Manager Mackenzie Trowbridge, Scenic Designer Shoko Kambara, Costume Designer Suzanne Chesney, Lighting Designer Matt Richards, Sound Designer Garrett Hood, Choreographer Evie Hammer-Lester and Musical Director/Accompanist Mary Holzhauer.

“Every year that we have done ‘Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,’ it’s story of generosity, kindness and redemption becomes more and more relevant,” Barakiva said. “We can’t wait to share the Hangar’s most elaborate production with you again.”
 
Group Rates

Special Morning Matinees are available for group purchases on select days Dec. 5-20. Group tickets are also available at a discounted rate (dependent on group size) for the regular run of performances Dec. 8-22.

Community Performance

A free Community Performance is offered on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. to ensure everyone can enjoy this holiday production. Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. The Box Office will open at 1 p.m. on that day, and we encourage attendees to arrive early. If you would like group seats for 10+, contact the Hangar Theatre Box Office for more information.
Ticket Information

Shows Dec. 8-22. Tickets are available at www.hangartheatre.org and  (607)273-8588. Tickets will also be available at the door based on availability, starting one hour before each performance.

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