A Christmas Carol returns to U of I
This year the play will be a livestream performance, offering a unique experience in which the audience isn’t limited to what the Hartung Theatre can hold.
“This is a great opportunity for people who do not know the story to get to know it,” Lee-Painter said.
The Theatre Arts Department has created an intimate experience for viewers to enjoy from the comfort of their homes.
Producing a play via video streaming presents new challenges, but the audience can expect full costuming and light design. Director Craig A. Miller, the cast and production team have worked to ensure each aspect of the show is as powerful online as it is in person.
“Telling a story over Zoom is challenging, but something still jumps through the screen and touches you,” Lee-Painter said.
After a hiatus from 2016 to 2019 to produce other holiday classics, the department is bringing the show back this year. Kendra Phillips, an MFA playwriting candidate, adapted the play.
For Lee-Painter, telling the story is especially important during these challenging times. He has played Scrooge many times since he was a young actor. He directed the U of I production from 2013 to 2015. He said he understands the depth of the story more each time, including Scrooge's journey highlighting the importance of care and empathy for others.
“We can all use a reminder of how precious life is and the need to be kind to one another,” he said. “This is not just one more Zoom meeting. It is a chance to have a heartwarming experience.”