By Cicero A. Estrella
Much of our entertainment choices during the pandemic has come via video streaming, but the American Conservatory Theater is taking a different approach by taking us back to a time when radio was king.
For the first time in its 44-year history, A.C.T. will present “A Christmas Carol” as a radio play designed to be enjoyed by the whole family. “A Christmas Carol: On Air” will be available to stream Dec. 4 to 31.
Charles Dickens’ Christmas tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and his redemption will feature the cast and music that has made the classic story a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and holiday tradition in the Bay Area.
James Carpenter stars as the miserly Scrooge. He will be joined in the audio broadcast by Sharon Lockwood, as well as students A.C.T.’s Master of Fine Arts Program, including Clint Bidwell, John Chukwudelunzu, Allen Darby, Ashley J. Hicks, Elize Kaye, Jordan Maia, Zahan F. Mehta, Makena Miller, Rachel Morrison, Johnny Rice, Chris Stevens and Kaily Watts.
Radio adaptation and direction is by A.C.T. Associate Conservatory Director Peter J. Kuo. Other members of the creative team include Jake Rodriguez (sound design), Karl Lundeberg (composer) and Daniel Feyer (musical director).
There are two ticket levels for the presentation. The “Cratchit Family” package for $60 includes a physical copy of a limited edition activity book that will be mailed to your home. The book includes “A Christmas Carol”-themed pictures to color and draw, scavenger hunts, mazes, a crossword puzzle and other activities.
The “Fred’s Party” package for $40 includes a downloadable version of the activity book. Both packages accommodate families of up to four people.
A.C.T. will offer two virtual community listening parties — a celebration of official opening night on Dec. 4, and Family Fireside Night on Dec. 23. The latter event is designed to give families around the world the opportunity to gather and listen together. Both performances will feature a virtual lobby that includes pre- and post-show interactions with the cast, and interactive activities.
For more information, including ticket information, visits ACT-SF.org. Tickets are also available by calling the A.C.T. box office at 415.749.2228.
Photo: Kevin Berne