‘A Christmas Carol’ is coming to the Silver Lining Arts Center
By Sydney Spaeth and Priyanka Trivedi, Current Staff
After seven years of performances at the Masonic Lodge, the West Bend Theatre Company is moving its annual production of “A Christmas Carol” to the West Bend High Schools.
By joining with WBHS, the producers hope the show will become an annual fundraiser for high school students. Fifty percent of the proceeds from “A Christmas Carol” will benefit WBHS choir students by allowing them to travel and produce high-level musicals and performances. Both the directors and students participating in the performance are excited to see how the show will turn out now that it has been moved to the high school.
“The show is really going to take on new life in the expanded theater,” said David Pecsi, the WBHS choir director and director of the show along with the West Bend Theatre Company. “We’re going to allow for a lot more people to be able to see the performance and really make it more of a community event.”
The world of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” will be brought to life for the audience members. Outside the theater space, there will be an Old World market where ornaments and small gifts will be available for purchase. The proceeds from the gifts will go directly to WBHS. The concessions will be Christmas themed, including hot cocoa, cider and other treats. Audience members will be engaged with the decorations and performances that occur prior to the show.
“We have some wonderful talent that’s going to be performing as a pre-show prior to the curtain at every performance,” said Nancy Storrs, the show’s production manager. “We’ll have vocalists and musicians performing live on stage before the curtain goes up, and almost all of those are in Christmas costumes.”
Aminee Hoff, an East sophomore, will play the role of Chairwoman and is a part of the adult choir.
“I am really excited to see how it’s going to play out in the high school since I’m so used to having it be at the Masonic Lodge,” Hoff said. “It’s going to be a whole different stage and a whole different feel. It’s going to be great.”
“It’s going to be a whole different stage and a whole different feel.”
– Aminee Hoff, East sophomore
“A Christmas Carol” replaces the Madrigal Dinner that used to occur every December. The Madrigal Dinner was a Renaissance event where people would buy tickets to eat dinner, listen to music and play games.
“It was a really fun tradition for many years, but we’re really looking to build a tradition with the community that’s going to grow and allow for more community members to be a part of,” Pecsi said.
Mike Shelby, a semi-professional actor from Racine, will portray the character Scrooge. This is Shelby’s second year starring in “A Christmas Carol” production as Scrooge in West Bend. He is known to travel around southeastern Wisconsin and works closely with the Racine Theatre Guild.
Hailee Porter, an East ninth grader, will play the role of Belle and will also be part of the adult choir. This is Porter’s first year in “A Christmas Carol” though she has a strong background in theater. She has previously been involved in many productions such as “The Little Mermaid,” “Oliver” and “House of the Seven Gables.”
“I’m really excited to be Belle because it’s a bigger role in a community theatre,” Porter said. “It’s my first more substantial role in a community play.”
“A Christmas Carol” will open 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 in the Silver Lining Arts Center. It will also be performed at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Dec. 2. The final performance is 2 p.m. Dec. 3. Tickets cost $18 for adults and $15 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased online.