Director Marianne Savell on A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Marianne Savell is an award-winning director and actor. A dedicated teacher, she has taught and directed plays at many universities including the KCACTF selected productions, she taught in the teen conservatory at South Coast Repertory, and served as head of the MFA Acting Program at Regent University and the BFA Acting Program at Behaven University.  Marianne is an alumnus and participant of Directors Lab West, an associate artist with Taproot Theatre Company in Seattle, served on the Advisory Board of Provision Theater Company in Chicago and was the Producing Director of Actors Co-op Hollywood. Marianne is a member of Actors Equity, SAG/AFTRA and the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

Marianne welcomed us all at the A Christmas Carol Meet and Greet and spoke passionately about the play:

“You guys are going to be sacrificing so much of your time in living this story for other people. And that’s what we do as theatre people, we set aside our personal time with family and friends and immerse ourselves in a story so the community we serve can experience something that changes their lives. And the great thing is, we get tons of benefits too; it changes us as well. You all were hand chosen not just because you are excellent artists, but because your spirit and joy shone through. I thought, 'This is the team.' You're going to have so much fun together which is a good thing because you’re going to be together a lot.

Patrick has been very gracious and has allowed me to tinker a little with the script, so we're introducing a new concept to the play in the character of Dickens. Dickens will begin the play as if he’s on a lecture circuit, traveling and presenting this new story. The actors will be presenting the play with him, and occasionally Dickens will take on a character because an actor 'didn't show up' or because he's so moved he wants to step inside the story a bit. So the narration has changed, and sometimes other characters will be narrating because they’re trying to help him or simply want to engage with him.

The other thing about this production, besides new actors joining us as well as a few actors from previous years playing different roles, is that the musical style era will be changing. This is a play with music, rather than a musical, and we are working right now with Karla, our musical director. The moment I meant Karla, I thought 'Special things are going to happen on stage because of her.' What I am hoping to accomplish musically is one of her specialties. Karla is already working with our composer, Roy George. So, we have a British play, a period piece, we’re in costume, we’re doing dialects, our special effects are digital, so we’re already mixing old and new. We’re also in Norfolk, Virginia, so we’re going to honor the area. All of our songs are going to be sung in the style of gospel or blues, looking more at the 1940s and 50s; raw and authentic. We’ll all be doing that together and I think it’ll be really beautiful. We’re going to integrate the music, so we’ll be showing you the heat behind the ice. We’re in great hands, this theatre is an amazing place and we’re all super lucky to be here and to engage with our fellow beings during this special time of year."

Get your tickets to A Christmas Carol here.