Washougal School District was proud to premiere the Jemtegaard Soundstage Club’s production of “A Christmas Carol – A Radio Play” by Charles Dickens.
Available only December 4th and 5th only, this holiday performance was a hit. The classic tale was told by voices of Jemtegaard Middle School Soundstage students, staff, and volunteers!
About the production:
The eerie sound of chains rattling, footsteps across a wooden floor, actors voicing character dialog and a healthy dose of imagination. These are just some of the elements that will bring “Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol – A Radio Play” to life by the Jemtegaard Middle School Soundstage students and staff.
In order to be able to perform in spite of the current COVID restrictions, the group decided to perform a radio play this fall. “We found that there were a lot of radio show scripts out this year,” said Diana Larson, Soundstage creator and advisor. “We were excited to find this classic holiday story and it even came with sound effects. We decided to do it!”
Soundstage club members were ready for the challenge, having met over the summer with upwards of 20 students attending the weekly sessions. Advisor Diana Larson used her connections with actors, singers, and dancers from New York through her years in vocal training to connect her students on Zoom to professionals in the entertainment industry. “We had online dance instruction, sing-a-longs, monolog sessions and even had a very special guest, Juliana Conte, a singer/dancer who has appeared in New York in Spring Awakening and the Adams Family,” she said. John Armor, Shakespearean actor and stage combat choreographer for Portland Opera and other theater companies, also provided virtual lessons over the summer.
The radio show was cast via virtual auditions in October. “The great thing for students is that no one has to work to memorize the lines,” said Larson. “They will read them as their character. There will be no visuals, just the listeners’ imagination.”
Rounding out the cast will be several notable special guests. John Hugill, a local Portland actor, will anchor the show and perform the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge. JMS principal, David Cooke, will read the part of Bob Cratchit and WSD Superintendent Mary Templeton will voice Mrs. Cratchit. Other JMS staff participating include History teachers Scott Rainey and Scott Hoisington.
Each actor recorded their part via Zoom, and then it was professionally edited together, with sound effects, for the final product. Sound engineer, Vic Sorisio, is doing the recording and editing, as well as coaching the students to understand how they need to sit and speak during their recording for the best sound quality.
Recordings took place November 2 and 5 and the show wasavailable online on the Washougal School District website on December 4 & 5 only.
Soundstage is a student club at Jemtegaard Middle School, part of the Club 8 enrichment series that provides cultural, artistic, musical, academic, social, and hands-on learning opportunities for students to expand on the learning during the school day. Soundstage produces music and visual media that let students explore performance, storytelling, and creative expression, supported by industry professionals who volunteer their time. Club 8 is an after school enrichment funded by the Washougal EP&O Levy and the JMS ASB, thanks to generous voter support.
Important: Soundstage has licensed the radio play for these two days, only, and the performance will only be available through the end of the evening on December 5th.