A Special Version of “A Christmas Carol” Comes to Monterey December 11

The Highland County Arts Council is bringing a production of A Christmas Carol to Monterey on Saturday night.   Actor John Hardy will perform a very special version of this familiar Charles Dickens’ story.

”It’s an adaptation of the book A Christmas Carol and it is very true to the book,” says Hardy.  “Almost every scene in the book is included in the play, but the unique thing about it is that I’m the only actor in the play and I play over forty characters. Which you can imagine the difficulty of that.  It was one of the reasons I chose this.  I was looking for a one man play to do, or a story that I could turn into a one man play, and I thought about this because I’d done the play, a play with a full cast.  I’d done that many times, actually, and so I feel like this play has been following me around for a long time or I’ve been following it around.   I read the book again and I thought ‘Oh gosh, this just seems impossible’.  Which is exactly why I did it, because it seemed impossible. I had no idea how I was going to do it.”

It took Hardy a year to complete his script for this one man version of A Christmas Carol.  In addition to being an actor, Hardy is also a director and a playwright with a forty-year career in professional theatre and film.

“I play forty-three characters and, oftentimes, there’s absolutely no transition between one character and another,” says Hardy. “As a matter of fact, I have a few scenes where there are several characters in the scenes.  I can think of one scene where there’s a party and there are twenty people there.  I don’t do all twenty people, but you won’t ever see that in another one person show.  That the same actor, without changing costume, without any transition, can actually do a party and everyone speaking, overlapping each other, they’re playing games, they’re singing songs, that kind of thing.  I open my mouth and I find the next moment, so to speak.  The one thing I hear more than anything else from audience members is ‘It’s so clear.  I followed the whole thing.  It wasn’t confusing at all.  I knew exactly who was speaking.’ “

The show is one act and it runs about seventy-five minutes.  It is best suited for ages ten and older.

“Mine is not storytelling,” says Hardy.  “It’s not someone sitting there telling you what happens.  No, you actually see each individual character living through the world of this play, living through the moment, so to speak.  People come up to me afterwards and say ‘That was just like magic.  How do you become another human being, and then another, and then another.  How do you do that?  How did you do that?’”

A Christmas Carol, performed by John Hardy, is Saturday, December 11, at 7pm at The Highland Center in Monterey.  There is no charge for this special holiday performance.

The Highland County Arts Council is a supporter of Allegheny Mountain Radio.

Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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