Celebrate Christmas with Shakespeare in The Park’s Shakespeare meets Dickens


The second annual Shakespeare meets Dickens returns to  Casa, Dec. 12.Stephanie Savage is excited to sing with Bryson Brown, pianist Jillian Bracken, Lyle Boswall and Cole Fetting in Shakespeare meets Dickens, taking place at Casa, Dec. 12.. Photo by Richard Amery
“ It’s our second annual fundraiser for the Lethbridge Shakespeare Performance Society,” said Shakespeare in the Park president Kate Connolly, noting this coming summer’s production of  the Tempest, directed by DJ Gellatly, will be the local Shakespeare  group’s seventh summer production in Galt Gardens.

“Shakespeare Meets Dickens was extremely successful last year, so we’re doing it for a second time,” Connolly said.

“It’s a combinations of Victorian era Shakespeare poems and Christmas pieces under the direction of our fabulous music director and pianist Jillian Bracken,” she enthused.
“ The first half of the of the evening is a reader’s theatre  of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol created by Richard Epp, a retired professor of the U of L theatre department,” she continued, noted there will be several familiar faces on stage including ShCole Fetting bones up on his Shakespeare with pianist Jillian Bracken during rehearsals for Shakespeare meets Dickens, taking place at Casa, Dec. 12.. Photo by Richard Ameryakespeare in the Park actors and directors,  and actors and board members of Playgoers of Lethbridge and Hatrix Theatre, plus university of Lethbridge students.

Some familiar faces include Cole Fetting, who was in this summer‘s production of A Comedy of Errors, Chris Peterson who was in last summer’s production of Romeo and Juliet, Shelly David, who was on stage with Hatrix Theatre’s  12 Angry Jurors as well as Playgoers of Lethbridge’s “Savannah Sipping Society,” Lyle Boswall who was in Hatrix’s  production of  “Spamalot”, Bryson Brown and many more.
“The second half will be Shakespeare songs and songs from Shakespeare inspired musicals like ‘West Side Story’ and ‘Kiss Me Kate.There will also be six or seven well known Christmas carols,” Connolly continued, adding there will also be Victorian and Tudor era inspired food and drink.

“The food and drink is free and Victorian and Tudor in flavour, so there will be Victorian sandwiches and shortbreads and mince pies. And we have a liquor license, so we will be selling wine and local beer,” she said.
Rita Peterson is a familiar face behind the scenes and on stage with Playgoers of Lethbridge.

 She is excited tobe part of her first Shakespeare Meets Dickens performance.
“Kate asked me to be part of it and I love working with her, so I said yes,” Peterson said.

 Like all of the cast members, she plays multiple roles in the show.


Chris Peterson rehearses Shakespeare meets Dickens, taking place at Casa, Dec. 12.. Photo by Richard Amery
“For A Christmas  Carol, I’m the ghost of Christmas past, Tiny Tim, Caroline and Belinda,”  she listed.

“I missed the event last year, but I heard it went great, so I wanted to be part of it this year because it seemed like a lot of fun,” she said adding the people involved seemed like a fun group to be part of.
“I love reader’s theatre,  and it is fun doing it with such a happy group,” she continued.

“It’s going to be such a fun night out,” she continued.
Stephanie Savage, who joined Shakespeare in the park as stage manager for this summer’s production of a western version of “A Comedy of Errors,” is happy to lend her voice to the musical portion of the night.
“I’m singing in the group numbers and  in a lot of the Christmas pieces including “O Holy Night” and “ All I Want For Christmas is You,” said Savage, who is part of several local community choirs.

“And I’ll be singing a bunch of  various carols,” Savage continued, adding having Kate Connolly at the helm was also a big selling point.Lyle Boswall rehearses Shakespeare meets Dickens, taking place at Casa, Dec. 12.. Photo by Richard Amery

“I love working with Kate and Mary-Lynn Muhly (Another prominent face back stage with several local theatre groups.),” she said.

“ My favourite part of it is getting to wear the costumes. I get to dress like a wench,” she said.
“Everyone should came and see this show,” Savage enthused.
 “It will be a wonderful evening of Victorian and Shakespearean entertainment,” Connolly said, adding tickets are only $15  each for the night, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Casa ATB Community Room.

 A version of this story appears in the Dec. 5, 2017 edition of the Lethbridge Sun Times/Shopper
— By Richard Amery, L.a. beat Editor