During the first few weeks of my freshman year, I saw “Spamalot” (a musical adaptation of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”) at the Erie Playhouse. It was a hilarious musical that I instantly wanted to be a part of. I ended up setting one goal for myself before I graduate: I was going to participate in at least one Erie Playhouse musical. I ended up putting off this goal for the longest time, until I was at an Alpha Psi Omega meeting where Gannon Theater professor/Erie Playhouse veteran Shawn Clerkin said that they need more men for the upcoming performance of “Scrooge”. I made sure to accept that offer, and now I am in the ensemble for my first show at the Erie Playhouse. After attending the first read through of “Scrooge,” I realized that this show may have a huge impact on my theater career.
Since I am a double major in Middle Level Education and Theater, my two main career goals are to direct and teach. I will likely find a way to combine the two by teaching theater (in addition to English) and directing children in theatrical plays. I think “Scrooge” would be a great musical to direct in the future, and I can also use it in an English class.
In my Adolescent Literature class, we talked about Reader’s Theater Activities in which students act out a non-theatrical literary work as if it were a play. In that class, we discussed the importance of introducing students to classic works of literature, and for this reason, many Reader’s Theater Activities are adaptations of classic works of literature. Our Professor, Dr. Leighann Forbes, had us act out O. Henry’s “The Gift of the Magi” and Edgar Allen Poe’s “The Tell Tale Heart” so we would know how to instruct children how to bring a short story to life. While most Reader’s Theater’s Activities are meant to be done in the classroom, there are other adaptations of great literary works that were meant to be done on the stage. “Scrooge” is one example.
“Scrooge” is based on Charles Dickens’s famous novella, “A Christmas Carol,” which is considered a literary classic. I can see “Scrooge” as a way to introduce my students to the works of Charles Dickens and experience one of his masterpieces. Many famous works of literature have been adapted into plays and films, and I think “Scrooge” is one way to introduce students to how literature impacts pop culture.
However, I also see this as a musical I can direct sometime in the future because it allows me to direct both children and older actors in the same play. Throughout my theater career, I learned the most from the actors who were more experienced than I, and one reason I am excited to perform in “Scrooge” is because I have the opportunity to learn from many playhouse veterans. I think it would be great if I could use “Scrooge” as an educational opportunity for younger actors, even though the older actors may be high school students. I think “Scrooge” could be a great tool for my educational career in the future.