10TH ANNIVERSARY | November 25 - December 24 | The Pyrle Theater
November 25 - December 24 | Hanesbrands Theatre
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Charles Dickens’ classic holiday tale “A Christmas Carol” has returned to Triad Stage with a cast and creative staff that includes many of UNCG’s own. This year’s production is led by Director Sarah Hankins MFA ’16, now an adjunct faculty member at UNCG, and Musical Director Justin Cowan ’14, ’16 MM, who is pursuing a doctoral degree in conducting. For Hankins, who served as assistant director to Director Bryan Conger ’11 MFA in last year’s show, having Cowan and seven other Spartans involved in the production has made her first Triad Stage directing job all the more special.
When I was a girl, the little country church where I grew up produced a play every Christmas. It was a tradition, a special time when the personalities of church members, with all their foibles and delightful quirks, were put on display to an always-packed house on Christmas Eve. The tiny darkened sanctuary, lit by (real) candles and decorated with greenery from the surrounding woods, along with the sight and smell of a towering cedar Christmas tree chopped down just hours earlier, was magical. There was really nothing comparable until Triad Stage’s “Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity.”
One of the most repeated stories in history is that of the birth of Jesus. The Biblical nativity story traditionally depicts the Virgin Mary and her husband Joseph seeking shelter for the night, and the tale of the Three Wise Men who follow the North Star with their gifts. But what about what happened before the birth of Christ? And where does a banjo fit in? Answering these questions is Triad Stage with an anniversary production of its Beautiful Star: An Appalachian Nativity.
Triad Stage’s version of “A Christmas Carol” opens with a band of dirty, raggedy urchins swarming the stage and spitting a menacing song at the audience. The production, which opened Tuesday, is fiercely engaging from beginning to end, and the little beggars are completely charming.