Studio Tenn Puts Fresh Spin on Their Acclaimed ‘Christmas Carol’

FRANKLIN, Tenn –  Studio Tenn’s annual live production of A Christmas Carol is quickly becoming a holiday tradition in Middle Tennessee but the theater company isn’t content with simply re-staging its smash hit.

Charles Dickens’ timeless holiday classic – which sold out all twelve performances in 2011 – will return to the historic Franklin Theatre stage Dec. 6-16. Tickets (which start at $47.50) are now available online at StudioTenn.com or by calling the Franklin Theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

“We were beyond thrilled with the wild success of last year’s A Christmas Carol,” says Managing Director Jake Speck, “but we embrace the challenge and consider it our artistic duty and privilege to give our growing audience something new this year – a fresh interpretation.”

“There’s good reason that Dickens’ classic Christmas tale has transcended generations across centuries. The central message is universal, “Artistic Director Matt Logan says. “We aim to celebrate the timelessness of Scrooge’s story by bringing it to life against a different historic backdrop.

“Every act of storytelling involves full acknowledgment of the world you are in, and the world you want to escape to,” he adds. In designing Studio Tenn’s productions Logan says he “look[s] for design elements held popular in our day and in the time period of the story–elements which serve as a portal for the audience, from one world to another.

“This is easy for A Christmas Carol because the design elements of the Victorian/Industrial era are currently in high fashion. The modern pages of Vogue and the silver screen are full of the silhouettes and textures from the time of Charles Dickens. In this year’s re-imagining of A Christmas Carol, we plan to walk that line between past and present.”

This is achieved most basically by using modern clothing to create period shapes, according to Logan. “We hope to ignite the imagination by telling this beloved story with bits and pieces from our existing lives,” he explains. “I think audiences are bored by historical realism, but they are enriched by theatrical imagination. At Studio Tenn, we strive to hold true to innovative creation rather than mere replication.”

A complete sellout is again expected. Advance sales have already prompted the expansion of the two-week run to include four additional performances.

Opening weekend is especially in high demand, as it coincides with the Heritage Foundation’s annual “Dickens of a Christmas” festival. Now in its 27th year, the Victorian-era-themed street festival is expected to draw more than 50,000 people to Downtown Franklin over the course of the weekend. The festival takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8 and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Great seats remain for A Christmas Carol but tickets are going fast. Group discounts are available to parties of ten or more – an increasingly popular option for office holiday parties or family get-togethers. For more information about group tickets, call the Box Office at (615) 538-2076.

“We love that people are making our Christmas Carol an annual holiday tradition with their families, friends and co-workers,” Speck says. “You won’t see another A Christmas Carol like it on another stage anywhere in the country.”

*Photo by ANTHONYMATULA courtesy Studio Tenn.

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