Making of the Show
The idea of Ron Severdia's solo performance of A Christmas Carol first came into being when he read the classic tale as an adult in 1994. He hadn't read it since childhood so it was a fresh experience and it changed his whole outlook on Christmas. The story is a timeless tale full of rich imagery and magic—it made perfect sense to transform it into a dramatic piece.
He began to research the idea of a show and discovered that Charles Dickens himself used to travel around reading the story, even acting out the various characters. How many characters? There are over 40 characters in the story (more if you count all the "atmospheric characters" that never speak) and that's a tall task for any performer to keep straight. He collected the different versions of the story in order to find out their variations and put together source material for a script.
Around 10 years later, Ron approached Shakespearean director/actor Julian Lopez-Morillas to collaborate on a production of the show (which later inspired Julian to put together his own solo show Sleep to Wake about the famed Victorian poet, Robert Browning). Ron also worked with solo maestro Charlie Varon in the early stages of developing an approach to adapting the script for solo performance, which led to a 12-minute scene being performed at the Marsh in August 2006.
The show premiered in December 21-24, 2006 for a limited run of five performances at the Barn Theatre in Ross, CA. All the shows were sold out weeks in advance. The show earned Ron the coveted Bay Area Theatre Critics' Award for Best Solo Performance of 2006.
In December 2007, Ron took the show to Europe, performing at the Astorka International Theatre Festival in November and at the Prague Playhouse. A year later, a co-production of Humbug Theatre and the Ross Valley Players brought the show back to the Barn Theatre for a limited engagement of eight performances. In December 2010, the Marin Arts Council invited Ron to perform the show as part of an arts fundraiser.