SC Annual Touring Christmas Carol Outreach
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History behind A Christmas Carol as a One Man Show?
The tradition of performing A Christmas Carol as a one-man show dates back to Charles Dickens' public readings which made him a celebrity in both Britain and the USA. An aspiring actor in his youth, he performed characters from his writings, breaking from the elocutionary style of the day.
Dickens' first reading of A Christmas Carol ran for three hours but then he began to abridge the text. Later it was edited down to two, and then to eighty or ninety minutes. He eventually referred to it as "The Carol" and it was by far the most popular piece in his repertory.
He "read" it in more than a quarter of the programs he gave from December 27, 1853 to his farewell performance on March 15, 1870.
What makes this Christmas Carol different from others?
Most people are already familiar with the Christmas Carol story, and there certainly has never been a shortage of lavish, large-scale film and stage productions of it. Yet, these versions have often missed the message.
This adaptation focuses Dickens’ real intent through the simplicity of storytelling and acting. No massive scenery, special effects or gorgeous costumes are used: only Dickens’ text and the actor unfold the magical and powerful message.
However, for this to succeed a working partnership is sought for with the audience. It is not a hard job for people to do, even though everything is usually envisioned for us on a screen, and we no longer rely on the powers of the imagination to bring a play into being. Yet, the power of the mind’s eye still exists in us all.
For only through actor and audience combined, will there appear that wonderful journey old Scrooge makes every year from Mr. Dickens’ pen of 1843. And so may this play, as Shakespeare would say, “On your imaginary forces work!”
Sponsors for Annual SC Christmas Carol Tour?
The annual South Carolina Christmas Carol Tour has received past funding through the generous support of CPBY Endowment, and anonymous donations.
In addition, its funding has also come in part by the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs and the City of North Charleston Cultural Arts Program through their joint administration of the Lowcountry Quarterly Arts Grant Program and the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of South Carolina.