A musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic,

“A Christmas Carol”

Our 2019 Saluda Historic Depot Theater Group (SHDTT) season finished on a high note with the successful production of “Abenezer Scrooge, A Ghostly Mountain Tale,” a musical adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol.” Although I wrote the adaptation, the YAK Players were involved in every aspect of the play’s development. Our theater renovation volunteer crew, led by John Savage and Jim Beyer, took time out to build sets that will be used as permanent sets in the new theater. Stage manager, Jack Milhaupt, a talented artist and actor, designed the intricate stage plan and created an array of props that looked incredibly realistic.

The Saluda Community Singers were engaged to perform Christmas Carols and a musical finale. Sound and lighting technicians, Michelle Fleming and John Little, created special effects that brought additional dramatic quality to the production. The adult Bell Tower Players and Yak Players made up an impressive cast headed by seasoned stage performer and local resident, Al Nicholas. Marketing was provided by Cathy Jackson, who helped develop the playbill, and Mary Ann Hester, who contacted sponsors in our local community. Business owners and residents were well-represented on the playbill, providing the generous support needed. Bruce Hunt, Board Member and Treasurer of the Saluda Historic Depot, manages the SHDTT account, which also provides non-profit tax deductions for donated funds.

The play was a one-night-only event due to the cost of the Party Place and Events Center venue, but was an artistic success as evidenced by audience response. The production was captured by videographer and filmmaker, Bob Keeton, who has since created a DVD of the play and excerpts for YouTube; the link available on this website.

Watch the full production

Our efforts in the past two years have brought attention to SHDTT and the need for a theater in our small but vibrant town. Theater renovation continues due to the commitment of a volunteer group of determined individuals, contributors, and sponsors, notably Hendersonville Lowes Home Improvement Store Manager, Laura Sykes, who has chosen our project as worthy of needed electrical, plumbing, and other interior/exterior supplies.

At present, Duke Energy has agreed to install an underground line to replace out-dated one, and a new electrical system is in process of completion, now that the ceiling rafters have been removed, raised and re-braced for interior expansion, and trees and shrubbery have been removed from the exterior. There is much more to do and we must rely on support to continue.

Our goal is to open late spring/early summer of 2020, complete with a stage designed and out-fitted with sound and lighting built into its foundation.

Now that YAK meetings have resumed, we are preparing for a grand opening masquerade carnival event hosted by our players in costumes representing characters from plays dating from Shakespeare to present-day, with performances to delight those attending. The Young Acting Krew has grown to twenty-three children, ages three to fifteen. The adult players involved and our dedicated volunteers are working hard to make this goal a reality because the YAK children and their enthusiasm have positively touched the lives of all involved.