“A Christmas Carol” re-creation to be staged at WCU

Western Carolina University is getting into the holiday spirit by preparing their own radio production based on the 1938 broadcast of “A Christmas Carol”.

Tickets are on sale now at Western Carolina University for the re-creation of a 1938 Campbell’s Playhouse radio adaptation of “A Christmas Carol” that will be held on Thursday Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The original radio broadcast starred the legendary Orson Welles. The WCU production will use Welles’ personal script for the performance.

Donald Connelly, head of WCU’s department of communication and one of the producers of the show says that the performance will be done almost exactly as it was more than 70 years ago.

“The performers cannot even use pens or highlighters to take notes on their scripts. Everything will be done in pencil,” Connelly said.

The show is a joint production of the Honors College, Department of Communication, Department of English, School of Music, and School of Stage and Screen. Steve Carlisle, associate dean of WCU’s Honors College; musical director, Bruce Frazier, and Don Connelly, head of WCU’s department of communication are the producers of the show.

This team previously collaborated on radio productions of “War of the Worlds” and “On the Home Front, Nov. ‘44,” which won two top honors in the Broadcast Education Association’s Festival of Media Arts.

“This production will be our most elaborate ever and we will be rehearsing steadily until December,” said Terry Nienhuis.

Nienhuis is a retired faculty member from the English department and has performed in the last two productions. This year he is the voice of Orson Welles and of a man named Fezziwig.

An original star of the show, Arthur Anderson will reprise his role of the Ghost of Christmas Past.

Many people may recognize Anderson as the voice of the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Now 87, Anderson was 16 at the time he portrayed one of Charles Dickens’ ghostly trio opposite Welles in the 1938 broadcast.

 “A Christmas Carol” will also feature the talents of WCU students, faculty, and staff, as well as radio professionals at WCU. The live broadcast will feature a live orchestra.

“It is going to be an interesting show. Many people don’t know how much went into making a live radio broadcast almost 70 years ago,” Connelly said.

The show will be held in WCU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center. All tickets are $10 each and are available at the FAPAC box office and can also be ordered online through WCU ticket return.