Five ways the Alliance Theatre’s drive-in Christmas Carol uplifts the spirit

For almost 30 years, the Alliance Theatre has ushered in the holiday spirit with a production of A Christmas Carol. Based on Charles Dickens’ 19th century classic, the play takes the curmudgeonly Ebenezer Scrooge through the Christmases of his past, present, and future in order to teach him an important lesson about compassion and charity.

In a year addled with unprecedented challenges—namely, the Covid-19 pandemic—artistic director Susan Booth says that Dickens’ story stands the test of time and that the company was determined to find a way to lift people’s spirits this holiday season.

Just as Scrooge revisits his past to move forward, the Alliance chose to take the relic of the drive-in movie theater and adapt it for an outdoor stage show. A Christmas Carol: The Live Radio Play runs through December 24 in a lot next to Georgia State University’s Center Parc Credit Union Stadium (formerly Turner Field). Here are a few ways they’ve gone the extra mile to make the experience special.

1. Three actors—dozens of voices. Typically, A Christmas Carol has one of the largest casts of the Alliance Theatre season, but for this production, they’ve proven that big things can come in small packages. Atlanta-based actors Jeremy Aggers, Jeanette Illidge and Brad Raymond do a standout job of giving each and every character a distinct voice—something they’ve each learned from their work as audiobook narrators. Director Leora Morris says that the choice to cast three actors to do all of the characters’ voices allows the audience to “delight in the actors’ virtuosity.” She added that at one moment, Aggers plays six different people for six lines in a row.

2. Theater goes best with food, and the set up for A Christmas Carol is perfect to share a meal with the family. Every space to the right of each car is open for sitting outside (with masks on) and watching the show. Many people have brought tables and folding chairs and order from nearby restaurants. The Summerhill neighborhood has become a foodie destination in the last couple of years with the additions of Little Bear, Talat Market, Big Softie ice cream, Hero Doughnuts & Buns, Junior’s Pizza, and Wood’s Chapel Barbecue, plus neighborhood staples such as Bullpen Ribhouse, so you can’t go wrong.


By Kelundra Smith, Atlanta Magazine

For the remaining 3 reasons, read full article here in Atlanta Magazine.

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