Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the worlds’s best known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. Adaptations of A Christmas Carol can be seen all over the world during the Holiday season. Here are seven facts about the man behind it all.
Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812. He died on 9 June 1870 and is buried in Poet’s Corner in London’s Westminster Abbey.
When Charles was 12 he had to work in a dirty and smelly factory, near the river Thames in London. His job was to put labels on pots of “blacking” which were then used to clean fireplaces. People think that his books ‘David Copperfield’ and ‘Great Expectations’ were written from his own life experiences.
Working in a factory was not Charles Dickens’ only job! He had many, including working in a lawyer’s office, writing for newspapers, editing for newspapers and acting. He even acted in front of Queen Victoria in 1851!
Dickens had 3 sisters, 3 brothers and a pet raven called Grip!
Charles Dickens published some sketches under a different name – Boz. This is because he wanted to keep his real identity a secret. In 1833 he published his first story.
Charles Dickens became very famous. People would recognize him as he walked around London. A lot of people liked his funny stories called The Pickwick Papers. In Victorian times lots of people liked long novels to read because it was the best way to entertain themselves – there was no television, radio or internet!
In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote the Christmas Carol. Apparently after the Christmas Carol was published people used to say “Merry Christmas” a lot more!
On 8 June 1870, Dickens suffered a stroke at his home after a full day’s work on Edwin Drood. He never regained consciousness, and the next day he died at Gad’s Hill Place. Dickens loved the theatre and his memory will live on for many, many more years to come as his beloved tale celebrates the generosity of the human spirit and its ability to change even the hardest of hearts.
Everyone has something that makes them unique, and Theatre and Dance at Wayne’s cast for A Christmas Carol is no different. During rehearsal on November 15, we asked nine cast members to share an interesting fact about themselves. This is what they said!
Tim Hiemstra‘s eyes change color depending on the light.
John Bergeron is an amateur juggler.
Durshara Kirby loves R&B music.
Kyle Sammy plays the piano.
Luke Hodgsonlives on a real christmas tree farm.
Cam Blackwell introduces himself as a 19 year old lactose intolerant Leo vegetarian who’s obsessed with golden age musical theatre.
Sidni Goodman can talk with a lisp, in a valley girl accent, and if you buy her food she will be your best friend.
Jacob Chapman has a twin sister.
Jasmine Walker ‘s favorite song is “The Christmas Song” when chestnuts are roasting on an open fire.
What is an interesting fact about you? Share your fact by posting on Theatre and Dance at Wayne’s Facebook page under the post for “9 Days Until A Christmas Carol” and let us know what makes you unique!
We can’t deny that Tennessee Williams’, Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, stands the test of time as an American classic, but we can’t ignore the heavy themes that are spread throughout this timeless work. Check out this video with the cast of “A Streetcar Named Desire”, as they highlight what these themes are, and discuss how they prepared to portray their iconic characters.
From Much Ado About Nothing in the Wild West, to an Arabian Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s plays are often reimagined in different settings. Director Lavinia Hart has reinterpreted Theatre and Dance at Wayne’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as a Slavic fairytale. The play is originally set in Ancient Athens, but changing the setting allowed for creativity and an unconventional style. Designers Fred Florkowski and Mary Copenhagen were tasked with creating a set and costumes which transport the audience into the fantastical world of the play. To establish the Slavic fairytale setting they took their inspiration from the illustrations of Russian artist Ivan Bilibin. His 1902 illustrations of the Tale of Vasilisia the Beautiful, featuring infamous Russian folklore witch Baba Yaga, were particularly influential. The richer earthier color palette, not found in the typical Western fairytale, lends an air of mystery to the mischievous characters. The lighting and sound, designed by students Andrew Cora and Kelsey Nowak, create a mystical atmosphere which complements the nimble, delicate movement choreographed by Biba Bell. Other Slavic inspired nuances, such as a sculpted dragon throne and skull lanterns, bring surprising elements to this familiar story.
Relocating the tale makes for a stunning visual reinterpretation. Take in this unique and beautiful production starting October 12th. Get your tickets at theatreanddanceatwayne.com.
Behind-the-Scenes: Designing Costumes for The Underpants
Join Mary Elizabeth Valesano (second-year MFA candidate) as she discusses her role as costume designer for the Hilberry company’s production of Steve Martin’s uproarious comedy, The Underpants.