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K-State Today

November 19, 2019

Theatre program celebrates quadrennium performance of 'A Christmas Carol' with special alumni opening night celebration and closing brunch

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

K-State Theatre wrapped up successful performances of "A Christmas Carol: The Musical" Nov. 7-10 in McCain Auditorium.

The production of the musical, from the book by Mike Ockrent and Lynn Ahrens and based on the classic story by Charles Dickens, is now a quadrennium event at K-State. To celebrate, a special brunch on Nov. 10 let this year's cast members meet and connect with cast members of previous "A Christmas Carol" productions at K-State. Among the performance alumni were Drew George, an alumnus working in Denver; and locals Trewman Haub — Tiny Tim in 2015 — and Grace Williams — kids' ensemble in 2015. Alumni Morgan Sterrett, Noah Lindquist and Darrington Clark were performing in professional theatre in Kansas City during the brunch and attended the opening night celebration.

"As we continue to build a community of alumni who have participated in 'A Christmas Carol' over the years, we are able to provide a valuable networking opportunity," said Jennifer Vellenga, professor and associate director of theatre. "Because the production is a remount, where scenery and costumes are largely repurposed, current students are literally walking in the shoes of those who have come before them. It's powerful for them to meet the previous cast members and see the career possibilities after training at K-State."

"A Christmas Carol: The Musical" featured music by Alan Menkin and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens. The presentation was made possible in part by funding from the K-State Student Governing Association and presented by special arrangement with Music Theatre International. Over four performances, 2,700 people attended.

The production was directed by Jerry Jay Cranford, assistant professor of theatre, who also served as choreographer and played the role of Mr. Fezzwig in the musical. Music director was Paul Hunt, professor of music, and vocal director was Amy Rosine, associate professor of music.

Theatre program faculty involved with the production of "A Christmas Carol: The Musical" included LaVonne Canfield, instructor, stage manager supervisor; James Davis, assistant professor, sound designer; George Wame Matthews, instructor, scene shop supervisor; Melissa Neville, instructor, costume shop manager; Dana Pinkston, associate professor, costume designer; Ben Stark, associate professor, technical director; and Kathy Voecks, associate professor, scenic designer.

The following K-State students were part of the cast and production staff of "A Christmas Carol: The Musical":

Jackson Welsh, freshman in open option, Abilene, ensemble member; Meghan McGehee, senior in theatre, Goddard, as Blind Old Hag and the Ghost of Christmas Future.

From Greater Kansas City: Chelsea Turner, senior in American ethnic studies and theatre, as Sally, and Donovan Watts, senior in theatre, ensemble member, both from Kansas City; Ian Boyd-Duncan, senior in theatre, assistant director, Jennifer Meier, sophomore in business administration, ensemble member, and Lauren Taylor, senior in applied music, as the Ghost of Christmas Past, all from Olathe; Janelle Augustine, sophomore in theatre, stage manager, Kaitlyn Burns, junior in theatre, as Mrs. Mops, and Annelise Mock, freshman in pre-professional secondary education, as Emily, all from Overland Park; Matthew Robison, freshman in applied music, Shawnee, as the Ghost of Christmas Present; and Catherine Stagner, freshman in applied music, Stilwell, as Martha Cratchit.

Morgan Grote, senior in applied music, Lansing, as Mrs. Cratchit; Jackson Berland, freshman in theatre, Lawrence, as Smythe.

From Manhattan: Trace Campbell, senior in theatre, as Mr. Cratchit; Michael Duncan, senior in theatre, as Fred; Rachel Hunt, master's student in music, as Mrs. Fezzwig; and Willy Michaels, senior in applied music, as Scrooge.

From Topeka: Jesse Barnes, senior in theatre, assistant lighting designer and master electrician; Brett Broadbent, senior in theatre, lighting designer; Madison Flory, sophomore in physical sciences, assistant stage manager; and Skyler Lindquist, junior in English, as Marley.

Kim Wong, senior in theatre, Wichita, assistant stage manager.

From out of state: Elizabeth Kritikos, senior in theatre, New Lenox, Illinois, ensemble member; Brett Boline, senior in architectural engineering and theatre, Carl Junction, Missouri, ensemble member; Masie Dulitz, sophomore in music education, Kearney, Nebraska, as Mrs. Scrooge; Katherine Boulanger, master's student in theatre, Bartlesville, Oklahoma, scene shop graduate assistant; and Michelle Koczan, junior in fine arts, Spotsylvania, Virginia, wardrobe supervisor.