2022–23 COVID Protocols and FAQs

Fisher Center LAB presents

SITI Company: A Radio Christmas Carol

Sunday, December 19 at 2 pm

December 18–19, 2021

Add to Calendar2021-12-18 7:30 pm2021-12-18 7:30 pmESTSITI Company: A Radio Christmas Carol

Work in Progress Performances

Adapted by Darron L West
Directed by Anne Bogart & Darron L West
Created & Performed by SITI Company

Fisher Center, Sosnoff Theater,
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“Bogart and her company…hold us in their spell.”—Los Angeles Times

SITI Company returns to the Fisher Center to develop a new live performance based on Orson Welles’ 1939 radio play of A Christmas Carol, as part of the company’s 30th anniversary celebrations. Reimagining the intimacy and alchemy of that recording studio, SITI conjures the ghosts of the past, present, and future to speak to our society’s immediate need for gratitude, charity, fairness, justice, and equity. Co-directed by Anne Bogart ’74 and Darron West, these special in-progress performances are a preview of the world premiere coming up at the Fisher Center in December 2022.

Estimated run time: 80 minutes.

COVID Protocol Update

Face masks will continue to be required at all times once inside the Fisher Center. At will call, audience 12 and above are required to present proof of full vaccination. In adherence to the NY State mandate effective Monday, December 13, 2021, audience members 5–11 years of age are now required to provide proof of at least one vaccine dose. Visit Fisher Center FAQ’s for details.

Program

Director's Note

The look of surprise on peoples’ faces when we say that SITI Company’s next production is A Christmas Carol is unmistakable.  Some raise their eyebrows.  Others laugh. A well-known story, baked into holiday traditions. And yet, the tale is profound. Dickens’ A Christmas Carol tells a story of resurrection, of redemption, of transformation, of grace. It was also written as a treatise against poverty and a plea for social and individual responsibility towards the unfair plight of the poor.

Dickens wrote the novella as a ghost story for Christmas in 1843.  His Victorian London was a profoundly unjust society, built on the backs of workers toiling in appalling conditions of poverty and abuse. Throughout his life, Dickens railed against this injustice. But he realized that the most effective way to reach the broadest segment of the population with his social concerns was to write a deeply felt Christmas narrative rather than polemical pamphlets and essays.  He wrote, “I have endeavored in this ghostly little book, to raise the ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.”

SITI Company has a history with radio plays, inspired by Orson Welles’ Mercury on the Air and its company of players. With our Radio Macbeth and War of the Worlds, we explored different aspects of radio, delving into what it means to listen. This new adaptation of Christmas Carol was inspired by listening to Welles’s 1939 Christmas Eve show with Lionel Barrymore and by the intention of Dickens’ original novella. This adaptation is, in fact, very close to Dickens’ text.

Thank you for joining us for this work-in-progress showing as we wrestle with tropes of A Christmas Carol, strip it of its baggage, and lean in to listen to it anew. We speak for the entire SITI Company in expressing our delight to be putting the first strokes on the canvas of A Radio Christmas Carol at Bard College and in the Fisher Center.

—Anne Bogart and Darron West

Cast & Crew

Ensemble (in order of appearance)
Gian-Murray Gianino
Will Bond
Stephen Duff Webber
Donnell E. Smith
Barney O’ Hanlon
Ellen Lauren
Akiko Aizawa
Kelly Maurer
Leon Ingulsrud
Violeta Picayo

Scenic & Costume Design by James Schuette
Lighting Design by Brian H Scott
Sound Design by Darron L West
Production Stage Manager Ellen M. Lavaia
Assistant Stage Manager Gian-Murray Gianino
Michelle Preston SITI Executive Director
Megan E Carter SITI Producing Director

About

SITI Company is an ensemble-based theater company whose three ongoing components are the creation of new work, the training of theater artists, and a commitment to crossing boundaries.

SITI was founded in 1992 by Anne Bogart, Tadashi Suzuki, and a group of like-minded artists to redefine and revitalize contemporary theater in the United States through an emphasis on international cultural exchange and collaboration. We are a leader in the Suzuki and Viewpoints Methods of actor training and each year, we welcome over 100 artists into our studio and meet many more as we travel domestically and internationally to teach Workshops in these methods.

SITI Company is committed to providing a space where the interaction of art, artists, audiences, and ideas inspire the possibility for change, optimism, and hope. Built on the bedrock of ensemble, we believe that through the practice of collaboration, a group of artists working together over time can have a significant impact on both contemporary theater and the world at large.

As we near our 30th anniversary and begin the process of transitioning from a producing organization to a more open artist collective, we want to better reflect the diversity of the countries and communities that we work in. We want to ensure that our impact is actually reaching a wider audience and reflects our inclusive values. We want anti-racism, equity, diversity, and inclusion to not only be a matter of our social responsibility within our community but to be the foundation on which we build our work.

Director's Interview

CBS Radio 1939 Recording

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