EASTPOINTE — Those in the Eastpointe area can get into the holiday spirit as volunteers for the community’s Police and Community for Equality program will perform a reading of the radio version of “A Christmas Carol.”
Funds from the event will benefit the organization and its efforts to promote dialogue, the interaction of multicultural and multiethnic perspectives, and respect for others within the community.
“The money will go toward scholarships,” said Director Dan Hogan. “It all goes to graduates of Eastpointe High School. I’m a member of PACE, and we support the school, so we want to keep the money raised within the city.”
The show will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and Saturday, Dec. 7, in the auditorium at Eastpointe High School, 15501 Couzens Ave. Tickets cost $10 at the door for general admission, $7 for senior citizens and $5 for students.
“I’ve been acting for almost 30 years,” said Hogan. “I wanted to get a community theater back in Eastpointe, and this is sort of the next best thing. We’re called the PACE Players. This should be a fun show that will get people in the holiday spirit.”
This is the second time PACE has hosted a holiday performance of this type.
“We’re trying to make this a regular thing,” said Hogan. “We did the radio play of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ two years ago. It also was a reading performance. We don’t do a full show, because we’re not using actual actors; we are just pulling from people within the community.”
Actors will include PACE volunteers and members of Eastpointe’s political and religious communities.
“We have black and white people, young and old, pastors from different congregations, so that all ties into our mission of equality for PACE,” Hogan said. “We try to get the politicians and the Police and Fire departments involved, so it’s all part of PACE’s goal of bringing the community together.”
Ebenezer Scrooge will be played by Dale Mathes, a longtime collaborator with Hogan.
“I’ve known Danny for a long time. I did dinner theater with him, and we’ve done that for about 15 years,” Mathes remarked. “About two years ago, we did ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ so when he brought up ‘A Christmas Carol,’ I jumped at it.”
A radio play is performed with minimal sets and costumes, with the actors reading their parts from behind a table.
“What we do is, we’re live onstage and we read the play into the microphone,” said Mathes. “We don’t have too many props, but we do have some costumes. There was some confusion the last time, where people heard ‘radio play’ and thought they would have to listen to it on the radio, but that’s just the version of the script we’re using. Our actors will play different characters — some more than one — so it should be very interesting. I’m really looking forward to it.”
“It’s going to be something different,” Hogan added. “We will be dressed in Christmas colors in late ’40s-style clothing. It’s a fabulous Christmas show, and people love ‘A Christmas Carol.’”
Hogan said the cast and crew have been working hard for weeks to prepare for the performance, and they received a lot of help from the students at Eastpointe High School.
“We have students at the high school helping out. They will be serving as ushers, doing the lighting, working at the sound booth,” he said. “We’ve been working on this since the beginning of October. It’s going very well and we’re really excited to show people what we’ve done. It should be a fun evening.”
Those taking part in the performance believe it will be a great holiday season treat.
“The last one turned out really well, and we’re expecting good things from this one,” Mathes said. “Danny has a way of taking experienced people and pointing them in the right direction. We have a really good cast. The rehearsals we’ve had have been spectacular. It should be a great night out.”
Call Staff Writer Brendan Losinski at (586) 498-1068.