This weekend I had the pleasure of taking in two excellent, albeit brief, theatre productions in my current hometown of Hilliard, Ohio.
The first was a very much abridged version of "A Christmas Carol." Because it was such a small group of actors, many played more than one role (i.e. some were carolers as well as characters in the play). Not only was the caliber of acting and singing quite excellent (particularly the difficult British accents - nailed them!), the set and costume design was top notch as well. Kudos to the Hilliard Arts Council for a very enjoyable 40 minute production.
Later that evening I went to my first ever production of "James and the Giant Peach" by the Bread and Circus Theatre Company, which was held in the Harmony Arts Center. Due to the small size of the room, one could call it "intimate theatre." Being on a tight budget, the theatre group relied on miming actions where sets and props weren't available. It requires a little imagination on the part of the audience, but seems to work nonetheless. These actors seemed to be cut from the same cloth as the previous group in that all were excellent with almost flawless performances. The boy who played James was particularly precocious and I look forward to seeing him in more performances in the future. The centipede, who probably had more lines than just about everyone, managed to get them all out without a single flub. At $12 for an hour long performance, it was perhaps a bit pricey, but considering there was no cost (other than either a cash, food or toy donation) for "A Christmas Carol," I felt I got my money's worth for both performances.