Middle schoolers give Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park two thumbs up    
Fourth and fifth graders at St. Jude, a K-8 Catholic school on the west-side of Cincinnati, received an early Christmas present this year. The students had the good fortune of seeing the play, “A Christmas Carol” at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. The Playhouse’s version of the Charles Dickens’ classic, directed by Michael Evan Hanley, brought the holiday tale to life. Very few of the students had ever attended a play at The Playhouse, so they were treated to the festive theater bedazzled in all its Victorian decorations and hundreds of exquisite costumes. What a great way to kick off the holiday season.

Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a treat for students and adults alike. They offer school matinees available for community field trips which makes school planning easy and accessible. The Playhouse even provides pre and post lessons in which theatre educators come to the schools to bring the production to life in the classroom.

Even though some middle schoolers had seen film adaptations of the story, for most, this was the first time seeing a live production of “A Christmas Carol” and they were entranced. “The mechanics and movement of the set are unbelievable,” said one student. “This place is cool, the set makes the story come to life. said another. “We give it two thumbs up.” said a third.

Quite a few of the students have been preparing for a school version of the play. This was a great opportunity for them to see a professional production as they tweak their English accents, polish their lines, and experiment with their characters. One middle schooler even exclaimed, “That’s the line I say in our play.”

Charles Dickens’ classic, that has stood the test of time, has so many memorable scenes and lessons to offer. It’s hard to put into words the meager lovability of Cratchit family, the spookiness of the rattling chains of the ghosts, and the monstrosity of the grumpy old man we know as Scrooge, but the students certainly tried. The chatter on the entire bus ride home included comments about creepy ghosts who popped out of the chair from nowhere, arguments over why Scrooge was a “jerk”, and of course choruses of “Bah humbugs.” These great critical literary discussions were brought to them by their new friends, Scrooge, Tiny Tim, and Bob Cratchit. As the holidays approach, this field trip served as a perfect reminder of the transformational spirit of the Christmas season. “God bless us, every one.” Click here for full article. 

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