First Assembly will present an brand-new, original, modern, musical-adaptation of the classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. Adapted and directed by Matthew Dunham with original music by Nate and Amy Jo Mattison, this 2-hour and 15-minute presentation has 17 exciting song and dance numbers with thrilling flashbacks to the 1950s and 1970s. If you appreciated the classic, you’re going to love this modern musical adaptation.
Set in 2016 in Saint Paul Minnesota, this contemporary adaptation of A Christmas Carol is brought to life in a powerful new way. Spanning nearly two centuries, powerful themes capturing current societal trends today reinforce the original Victorian message by Charles Dickens. Adapted and Directed by Matthew Dunham with Original Music by Nate and Amy Jo Mattison, the 17 song and dance numbers, and cast of 70 adults and children help communicate the unforgettable story. We cannot help but be encouraged by the redemptive power of God as we witness Scrooge’s transformation.
Work began in January this year when the novel was studied, new themes applicable to today emerged, and fresh scenes began taking shape. Modernizing the show meant Ebenezer Scrooge’s childhood fell during the Korean War when his father was drafted into war, leaving him alone at school. Scrooge’s break up with his fiancee, Belle, happens during the height of the Disco period and the turbulent 1970s. The small counting house is replaced with a more appropriate small business for a successful 21st century business man, with a dozen overworked-under insured employees. Today’s technology obsessed, rampantly-busy, ignorant era is summarized in a series of huge music numbers at the top of the show. Scrooge’s upper-middle-class loft means little when his self-imposed isolation leaves him alone with his guilt. Scrooge is visited by the ghost of Marley, his deceased colleague who was work-obsessed but in death learned the importance of generosity and compassion towards people. We each have moments in our life, both big and small, that have the capacity to define our character. These moments, if not lost, are part of God’s bigger plan and the calling He has on each of our lives. The beautiful redemptive power of this story that it is never too late, and nobody is too far gone to respond to God’s voice saying “choose me” whether audible or simply in small moments.
The original novel by Charles Dickens was published in 1843 when Christmas, as we know it, was first beginning to emerge with all of the gift giving, trees, parties and carols. Up until then, it had only been observed as a religious holiday. This book capitalized on this new emergence and ultimately cemented the secular holiday as we now know it. Today it is just as important as it was then to have a glimpse of hope and reminder of the importance to keep Christmas in an era of social division and technological revolution where we are more connected yet simultaneously more alone.
A MODERN MUSICAL A Theme verse for A Christmas Carol and the power of Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation in keeping Christmas: “YOU DID NOT CHOOSE ME, BUT I CHOSE YOU AND APPOINTED YOU SO THAT YOU MIGHT GO AND BEAR FRUIT – FRUIT THAT WILL LAST – AND SO THAT WHATEVER YOU ASK IN MY NAME THE FATHER WILL GIVE YOU”.
– John 15:16
December 8 & 15 at 7:00 PM & December 9 & 16 at 2:00 PM
This is a musical, but whether or not you are musically gifted, there are many places for you and your entire family to get involved and create something spectacular together: acting, singing, dancing, set construction, costumes, hospitality, and production. Take a look at the list and see what fits you.
With a cast of 30 adults and 30 children this 2-hour and 15-minute presentation is staged in modern times with exciting flashback scenes to the 1950s and 1970s. We are in need of an army of volunteers who are passionate in a variety of areas. Let us know if there is an area in which you are particularly skilled. If you don’t know where you fit, but you want to help, let us know. Contact us at 701.232.0003 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will find the perfect place for you and your gifts!
Set Construction (construction, painting, welding, wiring, foam-carving)
Costumes (shopping, sewing, modifying, management)
Hair (working with wigs & hair styles from 1840, 1950, 1970, and 2016)
Props (shopping, building, painting, electrical)
Cast and Crew Hospitality (food & beverages for rehearsals)
Children’s Assistants (assisting children during rehearsals)
Stage Crew (scene changes)
Production (lights, sound, spotlight, video)
Marketing (local advertising, poster delivery)
We want you! There is no reason to be intimidated or feel like you cannot contribute. Director Matthew Dunham and Assistant Director Allie Juve, and the entire leadership team are passionate about developing people and coaching all ages. We consider it our greatest privilege to work with those cast in creating a spectacular production together.
WHAT IF I CAN’T SING, ACT, and DANCE? If you are gifted in singing, acting, or dancing but not three categories, don’t worry. We will still ask each person to try their best. Because this is a musical, singing is a requirement; not necessarily a solo, but in the chorus. However, if you dance and can’t sing we need you in one of the shows several huge dance numbers. Our adult and children’s chorus directors are excited to work with you!
WHEN ARE AUDITIONS? Tuesday, August 29th, at 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM, at First Assembly (Doors open at 4:45 PM – Enter through Door 1)
WHAT TO EXPECT:
• Doors open at 4:45 PM, everyone will sign up for an individual audition time (*5 minutes). First come first serve.
• Upon arrival, everyone must fill out a one-page Audition Form, get their photo taken, and put on a name tag (with audition number).
• The categories: Adult Lead, Adult Chorus, Child Lead, & Child Chorus, will dictate which room that audition will be in.
• In the room: there will be two judges and a timekeeper only. For comfort and focus no one else will be allowed in the room (unless the person auditioning has their children with them).
• Following the acting/singing audition, everyone will be assigned a dance audition time slot. In a 30 minute period of time, with a group, you will be shown some simple steps and then asked to repeat this basic routine at the end. Children and Adults will be in separate sessions. If you cannot dance don’t worry, just try and move or just walk.
• Those receiving a call back request will be emailed Wednesday Morning by 8:00 AM and Call Backs will be Wednesday, August 30 at 6:30 PM. If you do not receive a call back, that does not mean you have not been cast in the ensemble. It just means the directors want further clarity on certain roles.
• The final Cast list will be emailed out on Friday, September 1st, by 12:00 PM, and the first full-cast welcome and read-through will be on Tuesday, September 5th at 6:30 PM.
WHAT ROLE SHOULD I AUDITION FOR: For a full list of roles, see below. There are 16 lead roles, 8 lead singing parts, and an adult chorus of 30 and a children’s chorus of 30. If you know you want a Lead Adult or Lead Child role, follow the instructions below. If you are confident you want to be in the chorus, follow the instructions below. If you audition for a lead role and are not offered one of the parts, you will still have an opportunity to be in the chorus.
TIME COMMITMENT: The amount of time you can expect to invest in the musical will depend on what role you are given. Children’s Chorus rehearsals will be on Tuesday evenings beginning September 12th. Adult Chorus members will have weekly Tuesday evening rehearsals starting September 26th, while lead roles will also have between four and six Monday evening rehearsals in addition to the Tuesday. There will also be three Saturday rehearsals in November for the full cast.
WHAT SHOULD I PREPARE FOR THE AUDITIONS:
ADULT (Lead and Chorus)
• ACTING: On Sunday, August 20th, one excerpt from the script will be made available HERE on www.firstassembly.fm/AChristmasCarol. ADULTS wanting to audition should prepare this excerpt. It is not mandatory that the audition script be memorized.
• SINGING: Those auditioning should come prepared with a song to sing that best showcases their ability, including range, technique, diction, and stage presence. Basically choose a song you know how to sing – it does not need to be anything fancy. You can sing a cappella or bring a track on your iPod/phone, or use a guitar/piano. In addition to the piece you have prepared, you may be asked to sing a section of either O Holy Night or A Whole New World, from Disney’s Aladdin.
CHILD LEAD ( Age 6 – Age 12)
• ACTING: On Sunday, August 20th, one excerpt from the script will be made available HERE on www.firstassembly.fm/AChristmasCarol. CHILDREN wanting to audition for a lead role should prepare this excerpt. It is not mandatory that the script be memorized. It is a dialog and the judges will read the other character’s line.
• SINGING: Those auditioning for lead singing roles will be asked to sing Jingle Bells.
• CHORUS: Those auditioning for the chorus will be asked to sing Jingle Bells.
• *At the auditions on Tuesday, August 29th, CHILDREN will sign up for 1 minute time slots.
*Speaking parts listed in order of appearance.
Narrator (Young Ebenezer)
Christmas Past (Lead Child)
Boy Ebenezer (Lead Child)
Fan (Lead Child)
Tiny Tim Cratchit (Lead Child)
Kate (Fred Guest)
Christine (Fred Guest)
Mr. Topper (Fred Guest)
Phyllis (Fred Guest)
Mr. Belvue (Fred Guest)
Young Girl (Fred House)
Lead Musical Solo Parts: Narrator (Young Ebenezer), Scrooge, Fred, Boy Ebenezer, Charity Caller, Marley, Belle, Bob Cratchit.
Adult Chorus – 30 Adults
Kids Chorus – 30 Kids
JOIN THE BAND
This 2-hour and 15-minute musical has 19 musical numbers and will involve a full live band.
If you are interested in playing in the band for First Assembly’s original production of A Christmas Carol, please e-mail the production’s Band Director, Nate Mattison (email@example.com).