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Midsummer Moon's 'A Christmas Carol' returns
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Midsummer Moon's 'A Christmas Carol' returns

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DECATUR – The cast of Midsummer Moon Productions will return to the stage with another new rendition of the classic story, "A Christmas Carol."

This year's actors will perform four shows Dec. 9 to 11 at the Decatur Civic Center. Tickets are $10.

The production company has been performing an original version of the show for five years.

"We wrote the dialogue and put narration with it and a few Christmas carols sprinkled in," said co-director Maria Lightner.

Throughout the years, Lightner and co-director Mike Huff have created various versions, adding elements and cast members. Previous years included a dinner theater. They also try to incorporate music into the drama. For this year's show, the directors plan special effects with lighting and scenery.

Other factors determine the show's outcome. Lightner and Huff rewrite the dialogue each year, depending on the size of the cast. For instance, the show’s popular child scenes are crafted around the number of children on stage.

"We can either cut or add to the dialogue," Lightner said. "It's the same with the Cratchit family. Sometimes they add a child and sometimes they decrease a child."

In addition, the directors often add music to the show. “We adapt it every year.” Huff said.

Although Midsummer Moon Production's "A Christmas Carol" is tradition with many in the community, Huff tries not to do the same show every year. "We try to change it up a little bit," he said. "With any live theater, every show is different."

They have discovered that even one small change to the dialogue can change the feeling of the scene, but they believe these small changes keeps the show fresh.

“It is nice to have something that you are comfortable doing,” Huff said. “(But) no matter what, there's a little change.”

The incorporation of children into their cast is one of the elements that makes Midsummer Moon different than other local theater companies. Huff and Lightner have many families audition for their plays. They feel the child actors bring something extra to the productions.

"Children have a mind of their own and you never know what you are going to get when they get on stage," Huff said. "Besides, if people are laughing at a kid on stage, at least there's an emotion there that is pulling at them."

And even though the shows are originals, Huff and Lightner feel it is important to keep with the spirit of the original story.

Huff feels the play is especially meaningful in the current climate in the United States.

"This is something that takes you back into empathy and selflessness that you need this time of year," he said. "The story is such a tradition of the holidays."

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