K of C Council Sponsors Call Back for Actor Ensemble

Building on the success of its last performance in Jefferson, Raconteur Radio returned this past Sunday to once again captivate residents with Golden Age type radio storytelling. This time, the “radio” actors presented a rendition of the iconic novella by Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol.”

The show was “staged” – so to speak – in St. Thomas the Apostle Church’s auditorium and was again sponsored by Jefferson’s Knights of Columbus (K of C), Joseph F. Lamb Council 5510.

Three actors portrayed a total of 14 different characters in this reenactment of the enduring holiday standard. The players accomplished this by donning simple costumes, using props, and by transforming their voices to create an appropriate resonance for each character.

Set in 19th Century Victorian London, the enactment was lively and faithful to the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the renown cheapskate – whose name has since become synonymous with miser. Visited by ghosts on Christmas Eve, Scrooge achieves redemption following a painful look at his life and possible future.

The actors nimbly swopped out any hint of their own American English accents by adapting myriad British inflections – from refined, to cockney, to Yorkshire and more – in order to fit each of the characters they portrayed.

Hearing the skillful changes in voice and accent, as well as watching the quick costume changing on stage – all accomplished in 55 minutes – added to the fun and pleasure of the enactment; not to mention a wealth of sound effects that enhanced the enjoyment overall.

Suitable sounds were mixed into the production at appropriate points to liven scenes and complement action. Even old, but familiar, product jingles were used at ‘commercial breaks,’ as they would be during an actual radio program.

After the program, Raconteur Radio’s founder and soundman Alex Dawson, also an award-winning playwright, discussed the company’s origins. An animated question and answer followed between audience members and the ‘radio’ cast, including Dawson.

“A Christmas Carol” was the second Raconteur Radio performance sponsored by the K of C this fall. In September, the group presented “War of the Worlds,” which the actors stated is one of their favorites. Other favorites mentioned during the Q&A included “The Exorcist,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “Star Wars” and “Harry Potter.” Nearly 100 residents and friends attended the Sunday, November 24, performance.

Founded in 1964, the James F. Lamb council has conducted numerous fundraising activities in support of charitable programs both locally and internationally over the past 55 years, including community blood bank drives. The council also supports athletic and musical events, as well as a variety of children’s activities in the township.

Dawson’s conception, New Jersey-based Raconteur Radio (https://www.raconteurradionj.blogspot.com/) stages theatrical presentations of vintage radio plays, classic works of literature and pop-culture parodies for live audiences in a variety of venues throughout the tri-state area.

 

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Maria Weiskott is a Jefferson Township resident and a forty year veteran of the publishing profession. An award-winning journalist and editor, she served in top managerial positions at numerous business-to- business newspapers and magazines including Reed Elsevier and Fairchild Publications. Early in her career she operated a local newspaper in the Passaic Valley towns of Little Falls, Totowa and the former West Paterson. Following retirement, she launched a “ghostblogging” service that provides social networking update and blogging services for small and medium sized businesses. Maria travels widely with her husband and is a passionate photographer. She can be reached at maria.weiskott@thejeffersonchronicle.com.