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'A Christmas Carol' still hitting the right notes at MC

11/06/2013
Appropriately, a dress rehearsal for the Nov. 21-23 performances of 'A Christmas Carol' featured Christmas carolers. The college and community production is being staged at MC's Wells Theater.
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The old adage is, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
 
For the Monmouth College theatre department and the Buchanan Center for the Arts, their ongoing partnership to present Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” is not only not broken, but seems to be getting better with age.
 
Tickets for the holiday production may be purchased from the Buchanan Center by phone at 309-734-3033 or by e-mail at bca@frontiernet.net. Performances at the college’s Wells Theater are Nov. 21 – 23 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee performance on Nov. 23.
 
The production features a cast of 95 actors, carolers and dancers plus a crew of 20 Monmouth College students. Returning veterans of past productions include Gary Mustain as Scrooge and Jeffrey Cervantez as Marley, with many performers joining the company for the first time, including this year’s Tiny Tim, Owen Walters-Kramer.
 
“It’s great fun to watch younger sisters and brothers come to rehearsals and say they want to be in the show next time,” noted theatre professor Bill Wallace, who is directing the production. “The support from the area is phenomenal, and it is always a pleasure to watch our students interact with community members of all ages.”
 
Is this version better than before?
 
“I hope so,” replied Wallace. “We try to improve each time, and Professor Doug Rankin, our set designer, creates new and interesting staging each time around. Our costumer, Pat Andresen, scours the countryside for costumes and makes a lot of our clothing, and student designers such as Nick Sargis for lights and Courtney Jonsson for props add their skill and expertise to the process.”
 
Added Wallace, “Our stage managers, Merissa Lewiston and Rachel Whitlock, effectively manage our creative chaos, and they are ably assisted by assistant stage managers Bill Armonda and Natalie Stortoni.”