What the Dickens is happening in Kamas?
Pam Lockwood, director of the Uinta Center for the Arts, has worked with children on the past two productions that were presented in the Kamas Theater "Alice in Wonderland" and "Cinderella."
For the holiday season, she’s returned to an all-ages cast for "A Christmas Carol."
"While working with children is always fun, I am excited to be working with adults again on this production," Lockwood said during an interview with The Park Record. "When we did those children’s plays, everyone thought that’s all we did. But there is more to us than meets the eye."
"A Christmas Carol" will open tonight, Dec. 8, at the Kamas Theater, 30 N. Main St. in Kamas and run every night through Dec. 22, except on Sundays. There will also be two 2 p.m. matinees on Dec. 15 and Dec. 22.
Among the adult actors in the production are Kevin Harris, who runs the Kamas Theater, and Josh Francis, who has worked with Lockwood in the past.
"Kevin plays Bob Cratchit and Josh plays Ebenezer Scrooge," Lockwood explained. "And they do such a great job of getting into their characters."
When Lockwood opted to present "A Christmas Carol," based on Charles Dickens’ short story, she knew the story would resonate with the audience.
"It embodies the idea about forgiveness and loving your fellow man, which is the spirit of Christmas, more than anything else I know," she said.
Lockwood also liked how Dickens wrote the story.
"He was a master at putting a moral into a story, without making it too obvious," she said. "When you read the original short story, you find just how much humor is in there. It’s hilarious.
"I mean, here’s this Ebenezer Scrooge doing all these terrible things to people and Dickens wrote those scenes in such a funny way that you laugh out loud while reading it."
The upcoming production pays tribute to Dickens’ humor, Lockwood said.
"The musical has lots of laughs and is lots of fun, but it also shows the great repentance that Scrooge goes through," she said. "Josh is splendid as Scrooge. When he’s on stage, he gets into his character so much that you don’t see Josh anymore."
Lockwood is also excited about the multi-media aspect involved in the production.
"The thing about presenting a live performance in the Kamas Theater is we can use the movie screen," she said. "We will project additional characters on the screen for Scrooge to interact with."
Those scenes include the ghost Jacob Marley and the Ghost of Christmas Future.
"Marley is played by a live actor, but is also featured in these screen shots as a ghost, and the Ghost of Christmas Future phantom is also part of the images," Lockwood said.
The footage was filmed at Emerald Bay Studios in the Salt Lake County.
"It’s in an RV garage and turned into a film studio," she said. "We had done some work for the owner earlier this year, and after we finished, he told us to call him if we needed anything. So, we went back and did some shots."
During the filming, Frances went along to say his lines in order to help the ghost characters with their reactions.
"We hope to do a whole lot more of multi-media in our shows," Lockwood said. "We’re passionate about both. In live theatre, we create something new every night. No two performances are the same and the audience reaction is really important.
"Then we have film, which is an art form in and of itself. So, to mix them together is exciting for us."
"A Christmas Carol is part of a bigger Dickens festival in Kamas, Lockwood said.
During the run of the musical, Main Street will be turned into 19th Century England.
"We’re really excited about that," she said. "And we’re so happy that so many people have come aboard."
When Lockwood first announced the festival, many of the businesses were taken aback, and didn’t know what to think.
"Once we explained things, they got behind us," she said.
Flowerz Floral and Gifts will host free ornament-making sessions. The Yolk Restaurant will serve free hot chocolate. Los Montes will serve a special Mexican apple cider and Santa’s home will be at High County Properties.
Other sponsors include the Lions Club, the Montage, Kamas Chevron Gas & Food Mart and The Ministry of the Disciples,
"The local fire department will participate in a lighting ceremony on Saturday at 6 p.m., Lockwood said.
"Santa will ride down Main Street in the fire truck and as the truck rolls down the street, the buildings it passes will light up in holiday décor," she said. "It will be fun."
Lockwood hopes the festival will attract new visitors to Kamas.
"We would like people to come to Kamas to get some great food, enjoy the festival and then see the show," she said. "This place has so much potential."
Lockwood said she hopes the Dickens Festival will be the first of many other festivals
"We don’t just want to do this for the holidays," she said. "We are looking to create a Western Days Festival and a Gilbert & Sullivan Festival and a Shakespeare Festival."
All that is part of a bigger plan that Sharee Harris, Kevin Harris’ wife, has helped
"Sharee is a great leader and has formed a Kamas Downtown Alliance," Lockwood said. "The group’s goal is to beautify Kamas’s Main Street, so when people drive through it, they will think it’s a pretty little place.
"Every year, we have 3.2 million people driving through Kamas to get to the Uintas, and then we have 5.2 million driving through to go to Park City," Lockwood explained. "So, we’re trying to show people how great Kamas is.
The Uinta Center for the Arts will present the musical "A Christmas Carol" at the Kamas Theater, 30 N. Main St., at 8 p.m. nightly from Dec. 15 through Dec. 22, except Sundays. The musical is part of a Dickens Festival that will be held on Main Street every night from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. Admission to the Dickens Festival is free. Admission to "A Christmas Carol" is $9 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens and $6 for children. A family pass for $35 is available for parties of four. Tickets can be purchased by visiting http://christmascarol2012-efbevent.eventbrite.com/ . For more information, visit http://www.uca-arts.com.
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