Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol

SMDCAC Presents

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol

Video Stream delivered by | Live from the Manual Cinema studio in Chicago

Christmas Carol Trailer-SMDCAC

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$15 All Tickets

In this world premiere video stream delivered by, created for audiences of all ages, interdisciplinary performance collective Manual Cinema takes on Charles Dickens’ holiday classic with a visually inventive adaptation made to broadcast directly to your home. An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe’s famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her Chicago apartment, she reconstructs his annual Christmas Carol puppet show – over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s classic ghost story.

World premiere performances of Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol will be performed live in Manual Cinema’s Chicago studio in a socially distanced manner, and live streamed to audiences at home. The stream will be delivered by Marquee TV. In signature Manual Cinema fashion, hundreds of paper puppets, miniatures, silhouettes and a live original score will come together to tell an imaginative re-invention of this cherished holiday classic.

PLUS! Don't miss PUPPET TIME A free post-show behind-the-scenes look happening on Sun, Dec 13 at 5pm.
Join Manual Cinema as they take you back-stage in their studios to share the numerous theatrical mediums and devices utilized to perform Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol. You’ll be able to ask questions via the live chat during this 15-20 minute behind the scenes “meet the artists” event for audiences of all ages. Details here: 

A Manual Cinema Production
Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

Written by the Manual Cinema Artistic Directors: Drew Dir, Sarah Fornace, Ben Kauffman, Julia Miller and Kyle Vegter
Storyboards: Drew Dir
Original Music and Sound Design: Ben Kauffman and Kyle Vegter
Puppet Design: Drew Dir with Lizi Breit
Puppet Build Assistants: Sarah Fornace and Julia Miller
Additional Puppetry: Drew Dir
Costume Design: Maddy Low
Set Design: Julia Miller and Kyle Vegter
Aunt Trudy Lighting Design: Andrew Morgan
Violin Performance: Amanda Bailey
Technical Director and Sound Engineer: Mike Usrey
Stage Manager: Shelby Sparkles
Streaming and UX: Ben Kauffman
Production Manager: Julia Miller

Lizi Breit (Puppeteer)
Sarah Fornace (Puppeteer)
Ben Kauffman (Keys, Piano, Lead Vocals)
N. LaQuis Harkin (Aunt Trudy/Puppeteer)
Julia Miller (Puppeteer, Live DP, News Anchor)
Kyle Vegter (Cello, Keys, Bass, Vocals)

Manual Cinema’s Christmas Carol was made possible by the contributions of co-commissioners: Cal Performances at the University of California, Berkeley; COCA – Center of Creative Arts; College of Saint Benedict/Saint John’s University; Krannert Center for the Performing Arts/University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign; Millersville University – The Ware and Winter Centers; Moss Arts Center, Virginia Tech; Stanford Live; Southern Illinois University Edwardsville’s Arts & Issues; Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (“The Soraya”); Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College; and Writers Theatre, with substantial in-kind commissioning support from Marquee tv; additional commissioning support from South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, and support from the Newman Center for the Performing Arts at University of Denver.

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