‘A Christmas Carol’ radio play comes to Eagan stage

Pete Skarman, right, is among the six-actor cast for the radio-play presentation of “A Christmas Carol.” Each member of the cast – which includes Ken Coy, center, and Bob Martin, left – is performing multiple roles to bring to life the classic holiday story’s 32 characters. (Photo by Andrew Miller)

Eagan Theater Company presents holiday classic Dec. 7-8

Eagan Theater Company is offering “A Christmas Carol” with a twist this December.

The local theater group is staging the classic Charles Dickens holiday tale as it would have been presented in the 1940s over the radio airwaves.

The radio play, which runs Dec. 7-8 at Eagan’s Cedar Valley Center, comes complete with period commercials (for Wheaties and Maxwell House) as well as an array of sound effects evocative of Victorian England.

“In the days when radio was king, people used their imaginations to bring a story to life,” said the show’s director, Ken Coy. “Imagination is becoming a bit of a lost art. We’re hoping to help folks recapture this magical skill, and what better time than at Christmas with a familiar seasonal classic.

Each member of the six-actor cast – including Carol Bergeron, George Calger, Coy, Bob Martin, Pamela Sakayan and Pete Skarman – is performing multiple roles to bring to life the story’s 32 characters.

The show will be staged “reader’s theater” style, with actors reading from the script; instead of Victorian “Christmas Carol” costumes, they’ll be garbed as radio actors from the 1940s.

The production’s sound effects will be created live by Mary Coy (wife of director Ken Coy). She’ll be using a table full of musical instruments, and ordinary household items, for her audio magic; to create the sound of horses trotting, for example, she employs two mini plungers. For the sound of someone walking through snow, she crunches corn meal inside a rubber glove.

The radio play also features live music from a choir made up of members of the Eagan Women of Note and West St. Paul’s Riverview Baptist Church.

“A Christmas Carol” is the third production from the fledgling Eagan theater group, which was founded in 2011 and presented the murder-mystery “Dealt a Deadly Hand: Murder at Pocono Royale Casino” at the Eagan Community Center in March of this year.

Performances of “A Christmas Carol” are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Cedar Valley Center, 2024 Rahn Way, Eagan. Doors open at 6 p.m. with caroling at 6:30 p.m.

Advance tickets for the show are $10 and can be purchased through the Eagan Theater Company’s website, www.etc-mn.org, or by calling (651) 454-6755.