Voices' A Christmas Carol, based on the story by Charles Dickens. Directed by Sally Filkins Reviewed by J. Peter Bergman
"Once upon a time...."
Sally Filkins' Voices Consumer Theater Company is doing its annual round of public and public spirited performances of "A Christmas Carol" in senior centers and retirees homes and the Berkshire Athenaeum. A combined effort this season with Pittsfield's R.S.V.P. the company has expanded to include members from 12 years old to 91 years old. A semi-staged, readers theater edition of the show, it is effective and certainly the most unusual presentation you are likely to see this, or any other, season. The "consumers" of the company's name are adults with psychiatric disabilities who are consumers of public support in Massachusetts. These folks work with this company in a wonderful collaboration that brings them into the public eye as they develop, and illustrate to the world, their skills and abilities. I have had the pleasure of writing and directing, and acting and making noises, four different productions of "Christmas Carol" with this company and so it is with difficulty that I attempt the role of critic here. Much of the concept, script and direction that exists in this production is my own, or based on my work, so it is unfair to critique it. The costumes, which I believe are by Jane Bove, are wonderful. There was no program available so I cannot single out many individual actors by name but I can tell you that some specific roles are wonderfully rendered. Turkey Boy/Young Scrooge is particularly good. Vi Sivic as the narrator was wonderful - she has a knack for storytelling and perfect voice for it. Sally Filkins is an ethereal Ghost and - I believe - Rodelinde Albrecht is an especially good Marley's Ghost. Charles Wright plays Scrooge as he has so many times before with so many different companies.
This production is playing the rounds of centers in the county and there will be a public performance (see below for the schedule). Their shows are FREE and worth a shot if you haven't seen a performance yet this season of this perennial favorite.
Conceived as a holiday gift to elderly residents of the Berkshires, the play will be presented as follows:
The Ralph J. Froio Senior Center in Pittsfield on Thursday, December 11th at 1pm.
Sugar Hill Assisted Living in Dalton on Friday, December 12th at 2pm.
Hillcrest Commons in Pittsfield on Monday, December 15th at 2 pm.
The Lenox Community Center for the annual seniors’ holiday party on Tuesday, December 16th at 1pm.
Melbourne Place in Pittsfield on Wednesday, December 17th at 3pm.
Mt. Greylock Extended Care on Thursday, December 18th at 2:30 pm.
Springside Assisted Living in Pittsfield on Friday December 19th at 2 pm.
A great holiday treat for children and adults alike, the performance series will conclude with a free public performance at The Berkshire Athenaeum Auditorium on Saturday, December 20th at 1 pm.
For further information contact: Sally Filkins at 413-442-1928 or Jen Ruel 413-395-0107