When given lemons make lemonade. This is one of my favorite sayings. This year brought an abundance of lemons, and we had to think outside the box in many ways. This summer I knew that we wouldn’t have a nativity play nor a regular theater play to perform. But since the play block is always such a beloved and favorite block for my students, I didn’t want to drop it completely. I heard about other schools turning their plays into radio plays. This was the solution. A seasonal holiday play as radio play!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has been performed on stage and on radio many times. We chose the script produced by the Campbell Soup Playhouse in 1939, featuring Orson Welles and Lionel Barrymore. We only changed a few words here and there to make it fit our school and actors. (One of our lead kindergarten teachers is Ms. Carrie and her vegetable soup is cherished by every child who ever tasted it. The 7th and 8th graders had the chance to work with Ms. Carrie last school year, recreating their favorite childhood soup during their cooking classes with her. We therefore kept the references to soup, but changed it from Campbell’s to, well, you can listen for yourself! And to Ms. Carrie, we adore you!)

While the students were learning their lines, discovering and practicing different voices, and rehearsing, they also learned more about the history of the radio and its technology. They learned to solder, and even tried their hand at putting radios together. This was much harder than it sounds! A big thank you goes to Daschel Knuff, an alum of our school, current sophomore at Wooster School, and a sibling of one of our 7th graders. Daschel shared his technology, knowledge, and time to record and edit the students, their sound effects, and the music.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge that we did our recordings with masks on, and–for some students–via zoom (from Mexico and from a bedroom in CT). I am grateful to 2020 that, along with the lemons, it sent the technology we needed–and Daschel Knuff–to help us make the “lemonade.” We hope you enjoy our rendition of A Christmas Carol!

Happy holidays,

Laura Hayes, Director
Seventh and Eighth Grade Class Teacher

A Christmas Carol, Part 1

by The HVWS 7th and 8th Grades, December 2020

A Christmas Carol, Part 2

by The HVWS 7th and 8th Grades, December 2020

Announcer/Barnes – Solana Barnes

Orson Wells/Narrator – Beatrice Tucker

Mr. Chapel – Solana Barnes

Ebenezer Scrooge – Chloe Amdhauer

Bob Cratchit – Sara Knuff

Caroler – Ellis Maroney, Solana Barnes

Nephew Fred – Ollie Exley-Seidel

Charity Collector – Ellis Maroney

Jacob Marley – Grace Johnson

Ghost of Christmas Past – Ollie Exley-Seidel

Fezziwig/Caller – Solana Barnes

Young Ebenezer – Chloe Amdhauer

Belle – Ellis Maroney

Belle’s Husband – Sara Knuff

Ghost of Christmas Present – Enya Yu

Mrs. Cratchit – Ellis Maroney

Martha Cratchit – Ollie Exley-Seidel

Peter Cratchit – Sara Knuff

Belinda Cratchit – Beatrice Tucker

Tiny Tim – Grace Johnson

Man on Street 1 – Solana Barnes

Man on Street 2 – Ellis Maroney

Goose Boy – Enya Yu