University of Southern Indiana

Children and veteran community performers in staging of "A Christmas Carol"

Children and veteran community performers in staging of "A Christmas Carol"

10/29/2009 | University Communications
University of Southern Indiana Theatre presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by Lenny Leibowitz. The play runs November 12-22 at the Mallette Studio Theatre on the USI campus.

According to Leibowitz, "A Christmas Carol remains inexhaustibly rich. Its message, language, its vibrant characterizations, and its storytelling power are still unsurpassed. Added to all of this is the joy of working with so many people from different walks of life and of different ages - we have a cast of 30-odd people that encompasses USI students, children, siblings, and veteran performers in the community. I love that our production and our process will truly celebrate the spirit of Dickens' timeless story."

Leibowitz and Rick Kersting, store manager at Schnucks West, will share the role of Scrooge. Evansville-area musician and actor and USI alumnus Jon Lutz will play Jacob Marley, and Gary Olson of Vincennes will play Mr. Fezziwig. Kersting, Lutz, and Olson have all performed in productions at Evansville Civic Theatre, USI Theatre, and New Harmony Theatre. Kersting said, "I think this will be an exciting experience, and it is an amazing role. I hope to do it justice."

Area children cast in A Christmas Carol include Hanna Van Winkle, Andrea Conkright, Nadia Scharf, Connor Crosser, Nicholas Becker (younger brother of Erica Becker, a USI sophomore also in the cast), siblings Taylor and Reece McDaniel, Sara Fortner (younger sister of Rebecca Fortner, a design and production student at USI who serves as props master for A Christmas Carol), Layne Ceotto, Matlyn Maclead, and siblings Matthew and Jessica Bailey. Miss Bailey, who played Agnes in Meet Me in St. Louis at USI Theatre this past spring, said, "I am excited to return to USI for a second show. Meet Me in St. Louis was so much fun, and I learned a lot about performing. I am looking forward to another wonderful experience, with friends - old and new - including my little brother!" Miss Bailey will play Fan, and her brother Matthew will play Tiny Tim.

The cast also includes USI students Jeremy Brailsford, Rachel Schenk, Jasmine Ruckriegel, Kyle Rupert, Anachebe Asuomugha, Craig Patterson, Erica Becker, Meredith Woodard, Cecilee Salyers, Hillory Springer, Paul Mindrup, Jessica Reecer, Ashley Harris, Jessica Durkin, Kayla Stevens, Preston Edge, Jeff Dumond, and Jennifer McDaniel.

In addition to Leibowitz, the artistic team for A Christmas Carol includes USI students Jasmine Ruckriegel as assistant director, Danny Kopp as sound designer, and Ashley Riester as production stage manager and USI Department of Performing Arts faculty members Robert Broadfoot as scenic designer, Craig Young as lighting designer, and Shan Jensen as costume designer.
Performances for A Christmas Carol are as follows:

November 12 at 7:30 p.m.
November 13 at 7:30 p.m.
November 14 at 7:30 p.m.
November 15 at 2 p.m.
November 18 at 7:30 p.m.
November 19 at 7:30 p.m.
November 20 at 7:30 p.m.
November 21 at 7:30 p.m.
November 22 at 2 p.m.

School matinees are scheduled for November 17 and 18. Interested teachers should contact Amy Estes at 812/465-7110.

All performances are at the Mallette Studio Theatre on the USI campus. Tickets for A Christmas Carol are $12, with discounts for seniors and students. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 812/465-1668.

Contact John Farless


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