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Brighton Students Celebrate Christmas Past, Present and Future on Stage

Brighton High School presents 'A Christmas Carol' at the Brighton Center for Performing Arts Thursday through Sunday.

Brighton High School is getting into the holiday spirit - and time period - of one of Charles Dickens' most popular works, A Christmas Carol.

Students will take to the stage and present the famous holiday classic Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Brighton Center for Performing Arts (BCPA).

Co-Directors Krysia Alexander and Melanie Walls said that because they were able to get the December show dates, A Christmas Carol just seemed like the perfect show to do.

The cast consists of about 60 high school students - and Walls' two grandchildren who attend Charyl Stockwell Academy.

Carson Gibbons, 8, plays the role of Tiny Tim while his sister, Alaina, 9, plays a rich town child. This is not the Gibbons kids' first time gracing the stage in a high school production before either of them hit their teen years - both played children in the May production of Cheaper by the Dozen.

"We tried to cast everybody in the show as a high-schooler, with the exception of those two - but only because we couldn't find someone small enough (for Tiny Tim)," Walls said.

Walls said when she asked Carson how he felt about being Tiny Tim, he asked her which voice would she like him to use as he said, "God bless us everyone" - a high-pitched English accent or his regular voice.

"So he's quite the little ham - he knows no fear," Wells said of her grandson. "And the (high school) kids love him."

Brighton Junior Zach Whitt plays the esteemed role of Ebenezer Scrooge. Whitt said that this is his most challenging role yet, because of Scrooge's many dimensions.

"Scrooge is actually a really challenging role to play," he said. "He's such a mean, angry and sad type of character and I'm not as used to playing because it's different from my own personality. And then portraying the huge character shift that Scrooge goes through is also difficult. After every encounter with a spirit, whether it be Jacob Marley, Past, Present or Future, he becomes nicer and learns more and you have to show that gradual change - and that's one of the more challenging aspects of the role.

I like how he becomes such a great character in the end," Whitt said. "And I think it's just fun to say 'Bah Humbug.' Especially since it's one of the most recognizable Christmas quotes."

Drew Drake, also a junior at BHS, plays Scrooge's terrified clerk Bob Cratchit.

"It's hard to be scared all the time - scared of Scrooge and all," Drake said. "But it's fun to do. I like that he's kind of the nice guy in the play. He's the family man and he can see the good side in everyone and I just like playing that character."

There's a slight twist in the high school's take on the scene with Christmas Future - it was actually filmed in black and white after dark at Old Village Cemetery by the school's Video Production Class.

Scrooge and Christmas Future will be physically on stage, but the scene will be shown on a large video screen so it's larger than life, Walls said.

"Since it (the cemetery) was established in 1836, we thought it would be fun to do because of the whole time period thing," Walls said. "

Tickets for A Christmas Carol cost $12 for adults and $10 for students, children and seniors and can be purchased online on the BCPA website.

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