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Christmas Carol

In this world premiere online event created for audiences of all ages, interdisciplinary performance collective Manual Cinema takes on Charles Dickens’s holiday classic with a visually inventive adaptation made to broadcast directly to your home.

An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe’s famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her Chicago apartment, she reconstructs his annual Christmas Carol puppet show – over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s classic ghost story.

The world premiere performance of Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol took place on December 3, 2020 from Manual Cinema’s studios in Chicago.

Returning Holiday 2021

A Manual Cinema Production
Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens
Written by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller and Kyle Vegter
Outside Eye Sarah Fornace
Creative Producer Laura Colby, Elsie Management
Manual Cinemas Christmas Carol Ghost of Christmas Past
Manual Cinemas Christmas Carol Scrooge

Commissioning Support

Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol was made possible by the contributions of co-commissioners:

Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley; COCA – Center of Creative Arts; College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University; Kahilu Theatre; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Millersville University – The Ware and Winter Centers; Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech; Stanford Live; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues; Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts at California State University, Northridge; Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College; and Writers Theatre, with substantial in-kind commissioning support from Marquee tv; additional commissioning support from South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, and support from the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at University of Denver.


Credits

A Manual Cinema Production

Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

Written by Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller, Kyle Vegter

Outside Eye Sarah Fornace

Creative Producer Laura Colby, Elsie Management

PRODUCTION

Storyboards by Drew Dir

Original Score & Sound Design by Ben Kauffman & Kyle Vegter

Puppet Design & Video Puppetry by Drew Dir

Assistant Puppet Designer Lizi Breit

Puppet Build Assistants Sarah Fornace & Julia Miller

Costume Design by Maddy Low

Set Design by Julia Miller with Kyle Vegter

Aunt Trudy’s Lighting Design by Andrew J. Morgan

Technical Director and Sound Engineer Mike Usrey

Stage Manager, Video Mixing and Live Sound Effects Shelby Sparkle

Streaming & UX by Ben Kauffman

Production Manager Julia Miller

Violin Performance by Amanda Bailey

CAST

N. LaQuis Harkins (Aunt Trudy/Voice-over/Puppeteer)

Lizi Breit (Puppeteer)

Sarah Fornace (Puppeteer)

Julia Miller (Puppeteer, Live DP, News Anchor)


Ben Kauffman (Keys, Piano, Lead Vocals)

Kyle Vegter (Cello, Keys, Bass, Vocals)

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