River City Theatre Company presents ‘A Christmas Carol’

The River City Theatre Company presents the holiday classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’
The River City Theatre Company presents the holiday classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’

River City Theatre Company announces their Production of “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens in Readers’ Theatre format to be performed on December 8th and 9th at 7:00 pm at the W-M Primary School Auditorium in Watertown and on December 10th at 2:00 pm at the same location for a price of $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for students and seniors. All Performances are free for Military with Military ID

On December 11th there will be a special Performance at “B’s on the River,”in Watertown at 4:15 with doors opening at 3:30. Light appetizers will be served with cash bar available for a ticket price of $10.00.

Founded in 2008, River City Theatre Company exists to offer a Watertown-area community theatre group, where everyone is welcomed to create — and enjoy — vibrant, quality theatre. River City Theatre Company (RCTC) currently holds non-profit status. The Theatre company focuses on keeping quality shows accessible to the surrounding communities with low ticket prices . RCTC has seen steady and continuous growth that would not be possible without the support of the community in the form of arts grants, business sponsors, and the generosity of its patrons.

Suzi Larkin wrote this adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” in Readers’ Theatre format. Suzi, a Watertown resident for 16 years, has a B.A. in Speech Communication with a minor in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. She has a Master’s Degree in Speech Communication from Penn State where she directed Readers’ Theatre. (See attached Photo of Suzi).

“Writing our own scripts is not new to us,” said Larkin. “We, at RCTC, have written eight scripts for productions, including the upcoming production of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book adapted for the stage by Sarah Sakry this February. But this production of A Christmas Carol is our first Readers’ Theatre production and we are excited about it. I adapted it for Readers’ Theatre from the version that Dickens’ himself used when he gave his reading tours in Great Britain and America. His version was two-hours but ours comes in about 90 minutes, including intermission.”

What exactly is Readers’ Theatre? Some people know of it because school children sometimes perform it as part of a Reading class. But Readers’ Theatre started after WWII because it didn’t require lavish sets and costumes and could be produced with the limited resources of that time. Larkin says, “Readers’ Theatre is theatre of the mind, theatre of the imagination; it is dramatic reading. Traditionally, the readers use their scripts — but often they have most of the text memorized.”

“One wonderful aspect of Readers’ Theatre is that, while there are conventions, there are also no rules,” she says. “So, you can have off-stage focus (where the readers look out toward the audience), on-stage focus (where the readers look at each other), or you can combine them, as we are doing in our production. Also, with Readers’ Theatre how much you leave up to the audience’s imagination varies — meaning you could use a lot of props and costumes or you could use none. We are using a few props and some costume pieces in our production.”

Larkin says that A Christmas Carol is ideally suited for Readers Theatre because the narration (the storyteller) is so well-written. She says, “Dickens is not as easy to read as modern literature, but his work is funny as well as profound, and his descriptions of the characters and food at the Cratchit’s house are just perfect for theatre of the imagination. I can just smell the sage and onion now.”