The production was created by a team that includes six Tony Award-winners, and features more than 130 local performers and stage technicians of all ages. It stars Malcolm ("Equus," "Aida," narrator of over 400 audio books) as Ebenezer Scrooge. It is directed and produced by Michael Unger, who directed the production at the McCarter Theatre in Princeton, N.J. for 16 years before introducing it to the Newtown area.
NewArts was founded by Newtown parent Michael Baroody in response to the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. It is the theatrical division of the 12.14 Foundation and collaborates with a team of nearly 20 theatre professionals to guide children in this endeavor of commitment, creativity and community. To date, NewArts has presented ten large-scale musicals involving over 500 local youth and was recently featured in the documentary film, "Midsummer in Newtown."
Adapting the production for NewArts/Walnut Hill are Jennifer Paulson Lee (choreography), Brian Prather (sets and projection design), Patty Hibbert (costumes), and Betsy Chester (associate lighting design). Theresa S. Carroll is the Production Coordinator, Samantha Stambuck is the Stage Manager, and Ana Dratz is the Technical Director. There are countless local volunteer children and adults that help make this production happen. Many roles are double-cast to give more children the opportunity to shine on stage and off.
“The participating children will be entertaining the community with a Broadway-quality performance, but more important, throughout the rehearsal process, they are learning how to overcome obstacles, work as a team and realize the best versions of themselves," said Baroody, who serves as executive producer for the show.
"A Christmas Carol" will be performed at Walnut Hill Community Church, 156 Walnut Hill Road in Bethel. Performances are scheduled for Nov. 30, Dec. 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 2, 3 and 9 at 2 p.m. Ticket prices range from $12 to $26. For more information, visit www.newarts.org.
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