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"A Christmas Carol" returns to Douglas County | Community Spirit

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"A Christmas Carol" returns to Douglas County
"A Christmas Carol" returns to Douglas County

The Parker Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) organization, continues its newest educational initiative, designed to promote reading and literacy in the community. “Literature to Life” illuminates classical literature by animating the treasured stories through stage performance. This project is focused on encouraging reading by introducing stories and enticing theatre goers back to the original book. Performances utilize local actors, puppetry, creative movement and eye popping special effects. Shows are appropriate for all ages and priced to encourage family and group excursions. The series will continue its successful run with the return of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale, A Christmas Carol. Incorporating a lighter touch to the well known story, this production boasts a stellar cast and features larger than life stage puppets built to portray the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The spectacular puppets were built by regional Emmy award winning creative mind, Dave Privett, and provide a unique and crucial element to the production.

The show opens November 26 and runs through December 18. (No shows December 3 or 4.) Shows are at Noon and 3 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 p.m. on Sundays at Mainstreet Center, 19650 E. Mainstreet in Parker. All tickets are $10. Ticket information can be found at www.ParkerArtsCouncil.org or by calling 303-840-5406.

Many familiar faces return to the production this year. Doug Tisdale, Sr. returns to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and once again delivers a memorable and moving performance. His son Doug Tisdale, Jr. represents the younger Scrooge and provides voicework for the spirit of Christmas Present. Rob Wallace returns as the lovable Bob Cratchit, now paired with newcomer Shannon Dettmer as Mrs. Cratchit. Clayton Russell is back as the frightful but humorous Jacob Marley and Lynn Snyder Goetz again brings her signature comedic style to her role as Scrooge’s maid, Mrs. Dilber. Audience members will recognize Mark Como, most recently seen as Bilbo Baggins in “The Hobbit”, now portraying the meek and humble Mr. Turley of St. Beatrice’s orphanage. Turley plays servant to Evelyn Rockett’s strong portrayal of Sister Angelene, overseer of the orphanage and each of her young charges. Patrick Call and Josh Work bring their endearing and comedic styles back to the stage as Fred and Topper. Audience members are in for a special treat during the narration scenes, delivered by returning veteran Bob Jordan and up and coming actresses Tia Amaral-Elkins and Sarahbeth Johnson. Professional puppeteers Amy Harder and Cory Spittler return to the cast with the finesse and skill necessary to bring each “spirit” to life on stage.

The vision of the “Literature to Life” project is to introduce (or reacquaint) audience members to literature storylines in a creative, enjoyable manner; while at the same time encouraging and inspiring them to read the original text. Reading is foundational to the success of any community, even in the face of today’s media centric culture. Reading develops the mind by increasing vocabulary, enhancing comprehension and encouraging imagination. For adults, recreational reading is a critical component for stress relief and for contribution to community. In 2007, the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) announced the release of a study titled To Read or Not To Read: A Question of National Consequence[1]. The study found that “Americans are reading less, reading less well, and the declines in reading have civic, social, and economic implications”. It also states “advanced readers accrue personal, professional, and social advantages.”

Patrons are encouraged to download fun puzzles and quizzes located at www.facebook.com/TheParkerArtsCouncil and bring their completed puzzle to a performance for a chance to win door prizes donated by local businesses. Fun pictures from behind the scenes and more information are also available on the Facebook site.

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