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WVU lends talents for WVPT’s ‘A Christmas Carol’

A black and grey smokey image with the words "A Christmas Carol"Nearly a dozen West Virginia University faculty, staff and students contributed their talents and expertise to West Virginia Public Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” airing on West Virginia Public Broadcasting on Christmas Eve.

“The COVID Pandemic has brought many challenges for theater programs across the country,” said Jerry McGonigle, professor of acting and directing and WVPT artistic director. “One of those challenges is casting. Typically we hire actors from all over, fly them in and house them for the length of the production.”

WVPT decided to forgo national auditions and instead made the call for talent locally.

“Every aspect of this production, from direction to cast to scenery and sound involves WVU talent” McGonigle said.

Participating WVU talents are Cathy Odell, Jessica Morgan, James Froemel, Jerry McGonigle
Lee Blair, Byron Utley, Mark Benincosa, Alan McEwen, Noah Hambrick, Will Guthrie, Mary McClung, Josh Wiliamson and Brianne Taylor.

“A Christmas Carol” tells the classic story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly businessman visited by ghosts, who hope to turn him into a better person. It was recorded live in collaboration with West Virginia Public Broadcasting. The cast rehearsed virtually, then came together in early December to record the production in the Clay Concert Theatre at WVU’s Canady Creative Arts Center.

“After a turbulent year, it was exciting to finally get to come together to create,” McGonigle said. “We hope our version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ brings joy to our fellow West Virginians.”

The video version of the performance is available now at A radio version will be broadcast by Public Broadcasting throughout the state at 7 p.m. Dec. 24 and 2 p.m. Dec. 25.