Christmas ROCK!

A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical Dec. 1 at Struthers Library Theatre

Charles Dickens meets Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Nirvana, Bob Dylan, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Boysz II Men, Queen, Jennifer Lopez, U2, The Proclaimers, They Might Be Giants, Michael Jackson and many more rock legends in Struthers Library Theatre Academy’s December 1st production of A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical.

Join SLT Academy students, Dance Express students and local musicians right after the Warren Christmas Walk on December 1st for the single performance of A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical.

This production of Charles Dickens’ classic holiday ghost story — adapted by SLT Artistic Director Charles Eurydice Gray — is replete with twists, turns, Steampunk-inspired costumes, other worldly beings, stunning visual effects and amazing renditions of rock songs for every generation.

Victorian mores meet rock and roll music in this unique and exciting tale of redemption made possible through supernatural intervention. Journey with Ebenezer Scrooge on his haunted Christmas Eve wanderings — led by ghosts and spirits — through his past, present and future to discover the Christmas spirit of love, forgiveness and charity.

“SLT Academy staff, students and volunteers have been working on this rock musical since the summer and the results are incredible,” said Artistic Director Charles Gray. “The rock songs selected perfectly advance the plot and involve audiences in visceral way. Rehearsals sound like American Idol episodes, where the real winners are the those lucky enough be present.”

“I am a sucker for redemption stories and was especially drawn to Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas ghost story. In adapting the piece, I wanted to honor the genius of Dickens, while making the story more appealing, lively and effecting for modern audiences,” said Gray. “I used as much of Dickens’ plot construction and dialogue as possible, while expanding the original characters and their relationships. For example, the characters of Want and Ignorance (small, but brilliant characters created by Dickens) now claim ongoing roles in the show. These discarded children begin the story as urchins who torment Ebenezer’s waking hours, begging on his stoop. Then through the ghost-led wanderings, Want and Ignorance spark the miser’s paternal instincts as they come to love Ebenezer and he them.”

And then there are the ghosts…so many ghosts. “Dickens knew that people love Christmas, drama and a good ghost story,” said Gray. “Thanks to the internship of young film director Sean Shoobridge, our rock musical will have incredible video effects and story-telling. Though we all like a little spine-tingling, we were careful to provide a welcoming scene where audiences get to meet the ghosts to learn that they are ‘really friendly dead people who only get up to nasty tricks when they are trying to help someone.'”

“Shoobridge is also creating a ‘Making of A Christmas Carol’ short film tracing the production from inception to stage through interviews and video shoots with the students and instructors,” said Gray. “Making of A Christmas Carol’ will debut before the production at 7:30 p.m. on the night of the show, December 1, 2017. And stick around after the show to come up on stage to meet the resident ghosts and explore the special effects.”

The production team has also been busy making costumes, sets and props for the show…all with a Steampunk flair. “Steampunk is a genre of science fiction that combines historical elements with anachronistic technology. It is a fascination with the internal workings of a device,” said Gray. “In A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical, we have combined Victorian fashion with the industrial revolution. We have also taken the idea one step further. Students have created backstories for their characters: stories about the characters’ lives up to that moment that explain the internal workings of the character. We have put symbols of these stories on the outside of the characters, incorporating them into their costumes and props. For example the Ghost of Christmas Present is a hard driving, take charge individual bent on progress and forward motion. It has been decided she is most like a steam train barreling down a track to her destination. To personify this, her costume is reminiscent of a steam engine complete with a Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad logo identification plate and steam rising from her chimney-like hat.”

Whether you have known this Dickens’ classic for years or it is your first encounter with Ebenezer Scrooge, A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical will thrill and delight you. This first full-scale musical produced by SLT Academy will be presented at 8 p.m. on December 1, 2017, right after the Christmas Walk, with a 7:30 p.m. screening of Sean Shoobridge’s new film, ‘Making of A Christmas Carol’. Bring the whole family to Struthers Library Theatre at 302 W. Third Avenue and get in the true spirit of Christmas while singing along with your favorite rock and roll songs from the 60s to the present day.

Tickets to A Christmas Carol: A Rock Musical are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students and free for children under 5. Tickets are available between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. by phone at (814) 723-7231 or at the theatre office at 302 Third Avenue in Warren. Tickets may also be purchased at the box office the night of the show.