SYRACUSE — “A Christmas Carol” based on the novel by Charles Dickens is clearly a Christmas classic and would likely be one of the most produced high school plays across the United States. Wawasee High School will present “A Christmas Carol” at 7 p.m. Dec. 6, 2 p.m. Dec. 8, 7 p.m. Dec. 13 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14, in the high school auditorium.
Wawasee’s version will be based on the one written by Patrick Barlow. Although Barlow’s version is based on the original version, it adds some unconventional elements such as combining modern day music with traditional English carols.
For another example, Kristin Bonner, the play’s director, pointed out “our crazy spiral staircase that looks kind of ‘industrialish,’” that is part of the set.
And for even more proof this version is unconventional, Wawasee will use two students — Nick Lesko and Evan Coblentz — to portray Ebenezer Scrooge. Lesko will take the role for the Dec. 6 and 14 shows and Coblentz for the Dec. 8 and 13 performances.
Although this version is unconventional, the basic premise of “A Christmas Carol” remains as the story is told of a dark and selfish heart being transformed into someone displaying kindness and generosity.
Bonner said she has wanted to do a Christmas show for a while and this year it became a reality. “I like how this (version) develops the Scrooge character more at the beginning,” she said.
This version was actually written for a five-member cast only, but Wawasee chose to expand the cast significantly and with the children included, there are more than 30 cast members.
Because it was written for only five cast members, Bonner said it has been a challenge because some cast members have been sharing lines they need to learn. “It has been very complicated to do,” she said.
She hopes those who view the production will be “amazed at the lines the kids have learned.” Students have also been perfecting various movements used throughout the production.
There are new lights in the auditorium and that has allowed for more things to be done on the technical side. And, Bonner noted, there will be a large crew of eight to 12 students backstage running things, which is a higher number than normal.
Tickets can be purchased online at wawaseeperformingarts.ludus.com/index.php. Tickets cost $8 for adults, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students when purchased online. Tickets not purchased online will cost $2 more.
To avoid long lines the night of the performances, it is highly recommended tickets be purchased online.
Mindy Coblentz is Bonner’s assistant director and Chris Dykhuisen is the technical director.
Other cast members include Andrik Bautista, Gavin Malone, Serena Lesko, Grace Morrison, Ashley Rose, Bronwyn Bonner, Clay Coblentz, Dylan Minear, Claire Beer, Anna Clark, Taylor Cripe, Ethan Dennis, Katelyn Dunivan, Colton Edgar, Lila Fierek, Kasey Gunkel, Leina Helfers, Brynn Jamora, Vanessa Lantz, Christina Morrow, Robert Schmucker, Trinity Smeltzer, Aiden Stewart, Bri Stewart and Ayla Torres.
Children in the cast include Audrey Fitzsimmons, Karissa Lesko, Adeleine Pulley, Bryce Johnson, Alecia Miller and Wyatt Phillips.