Whether it’s George Bailey realizing how blessed his life is, Charlie Brown discovering the meaning of Christmas, the Grinch’s heart growing three sizes, or Buddy the Elf spreading Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear – we all have our favorite Christmas stories that give us the warm fuzzy feelings every December. Whatever holiday movies you love to re-watch year after year, there is a magic about stories that captures our hearts and all that we love about the holiday season.
And that’s the kind of magic that High Point Community Theatre wanted to capture with their production of A Christmas Carol: The Musical.
“There wasn’t an annual Christmas production in High Point at the time,” says Courtney Lowe, President of High Point Community Theatre. The Board of Directors at HPCT, who are all volunteer, decided they wanted to produce something that could be re-created year after year to give High Point families a holiday tradition at the theatre. And what better Christmas show tradition than the story that brought us Tiny Tim, the Ghost of Christmas Past, and Ebeneezer Scrooge himself?
A Christmas Carol: The Musical with music by Alan Menken offers a bright and fun take on this beloved Christmas ghost story. This “Disney-fied” Christmas Carol is true to Charles Dickens’ original book while still being light and family-friendly for all to enjoy.
In fact, its light tone is a big reason the HPCT board first selected it.
“Community theatre should mean ‘community’ in every aspect of the word,” Courtney says. That’s why the HPCT board works hard to foster an environment that the whole family can participate in – both from a cast and audience perspective.
“Christmas Carol is the ideal show for families to perform together,” Courtney says. She and her own family always take part in the show together, alongside many other families who return year after year to fill the stage. With a large cast to include as many community participants as possible, the show also offers a wide possibility of age ranges for the cast members. Courtney says it’s not unusual for the cast to be made up of multi-generational families, from little ones to grandparents.
“In A Christmas Carol there is a lyric, ‘Family is created by friendships as well as by birth,’” Courtney adds. “That really captures what we’re trying to do at HPCT.”
So what can families expect when come to A Christmas Carol: The Musical? Everything from a live orchestra to ornate holiday sets, to a fun tap dance number, to a lively party scene, to some spooky (but not too spooky) ghosts! Plus, there may be a little winter wonderland surprise in the mix...
Even if you are a returning audience member to A Christmas Carol, the folks at HPCT make sure to add a little something new to the show each year.
“We know how important tradition is for people who come to the theatre, especially when you come to see a show like this that becomes part of your holiday tradition,” Courtney says. “It’s important to feel like you’re coming home to see something that is very familiar, but we also like to throw in a few surprises here and there.”
Each year, volunteers work hard to build new set pieces, sew new costumes, and make updates to the exciting pieces. The cast and crew, also volunteers, have been rehearsing hard for the last eight weeks to prepare for their performance. Last year, A Christmas Carol: The Musical had to be performed virtually, but this year will be their sixth live performance. And after two years without the live show, Courtney says it feels like a new show again, and the cast is feeling the excitement.
Most of all, the cast and crew at HPCT believe in the words of the songs they sing and the message of forgiveness and transformation the story offers. At the show’s close, the cast gather on stage to sing the finale song, “God Bless Us, Everyone.”
“One of my favorite moments is to stand on the stage singing this beautiful song and to look out on the audience and see them singing along with us,” Courtney says. Even audience members who are seeing the show for the first time quickly catch onto the refrain, “Let us love ‘til we die, and God bless us everyone.”
“It’s the most beautiful way to end the show, and head out the doors with this beautiful message in our hearts,” Courtney concludes. “It encapsulates all of the holiday spirit rolled into one.”
Discover our High Points,
The HPD Team
When to See the Show
- Friday, December 10 @ 7:30 PM
- Saturday, December 11 @ 2:00 PM
- Saturday, December 11 @ 7:30 PM
- Sunday, December 12 @ 2:00 PM
- Pay-What-You-Can – Dress Rehearsal Thursday (HPCT encourages those attending the pay-what-you-can show to arrive around 6pm, as this show is first-come, first-serve.)
- Speak of the Dickens: VIP Event – Early entry with special cast meet-and-greet, refreshments, and Q&A with director/music director. Get tickets here!