Brantford based community theatre group ICHTHYS Theatre Productions is presenting their adaptation of a holiday classic that they have titled, A Dickens of a Time online throughout the month of December
The play, which follows the storyline of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, was adapted by Lorna Stratton, the artistic director of the theatre group.
“This is a show that we did many years ago,” she said. “When the pandemic came along and we couldn’t do any live performances, we wanted to be able to do something. We were inspired by old radio plays and decided we could film the show and post it online for anyone to watch during the holiday season.”
After putting together the final production with titles and closed captioning, it was shared on YouTube, where it returns each December.
“For a lot of people, watching A Christmas Carol during the holiday season is a tradition,” Stratton said. “In the spirit of tradition, we put it back on our channel and promote it during the holiday season for all to enjoy again.”
The production includes all of the story’s characters including the narrator, Jacob Marley, Cratchet and Ebenezer Scrooge.
“We took the story and modernized it a little bit,” the director said. “It’s still a story that has a lot of value for today, some people are very Scrooge-ish. We often tend to forget that Scrooge changed and we really wanted to focus on emphasizing that aspect of it.”
ICHTHYS Theatre Productions began in 2000 and has been putting together at least one show, often as many as three or four, annually since coming together.
“We’ve been around for a long time but not many people know about us,” Stratton said. “Like many community theatre groups in the area, we don’t have a home. We go from one place to another putting on shows. We try to do shows that have a social message for our audiences, a good message that gets people thinking when they leave.”
The group’s artistic director said that since 2000, they have put on nearly 50 productions. They had big plans for their 20th anniversary in 2020, but the pandemic left them without the ability to hold in-person events, which is how A Dickens in Time and other online shows came to be.
Stratton said that she encourages anyone interested to get involved in the group or others in the local arts community. Currently, ICHTHYS has members of all ages and abilities working on a number of projects for 2023.
A Dickens of a Time is free for all to enjoy throughout the month of December on the ICHTHYS Theatre Productions YouTube page at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZjMcM5Kw9H8.