Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" is a holiday tradition at the Omaha Community Playhouse. For 36 years, the stage production has drawn audiences from across the region and delighted families and children of all ages. But what the audience doesn't see are the humorous, awkward and inspiring moments that happen long before the curtain opens and the stage lights go up.
Like any theater production, the creative process begins with a casting call and a new NET Television documentary captures the camaraderie, backstage struggles, anxieties and triumphs of the actors and crew as they move through the creative process in "Casting Call to Curtain Call," premiering tonight, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. CT on NET1/HD.
Managing the pressure and routine of rehearsals, set and costume design, lighting and props are all part of a successful musical. In "Casting Call to Curtain Call," cameras document every stage of the progression, from the singing and dancing at the nerve-wracking auditions to the final casting decisions that ultimately determine the success of the production.
"When we see the finished product on the stage, it isn't really the finished product that I remember. It's the process," said Susan Baer Collins, co-director of "A Christmas Carol" at the Omaha Community Playhouse.
The actors range in age from age 7 to 70, and each year the different personalities and talents of the cast members change the production, so that each season is unique. But, some things stay true to the script because no performer wants to disappoint an audience who is expecting the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, a grumpy Mr. Scrooge, Tiny Tim and delightful singing and dancing.
"Casting Call to Curtain Call" will repeat on Thursday, Nov. 29, at 8:30 p.m. CT and Sunday, Dec. 2, at 5 p.m. CT on NET1/HD, as well as during the holiday season on Friday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 23, at noon CT; and Sunday, Dec. 30, at 7 p.m. CT.
Each year, the Omaha Community Playhouse showcases a full season of comedies, dramas, mysteries, and musicals, as well as its nationally-renowned version of "A Christmas Carol."
"Casting Call to Curtain Call" was made possible with the support of the Nebraska Arts Council and Nebraska Cultural Endowment.
NET1/HD is part of NET Television. NET Television is a service of NET. For complete program schedules, visit NET's website at netNebraska.org and click on television.