Classic tale comes to life at Roberson

This December, the Roberson Mansion will bring a classic Charles Dickens tale to its festively decorated halls.

The classic holiday tale, “A Christmas Carol,” will be brought to life in an interactive production from Studio 271 Productions, a visual and performing arts studio based in Endicott, New York. The studio photographs events and writes, directs and performs dramatic productions. This year will be its sixth time performing “A Christmas Carol” in Binghamton, but its first year performing the show at the mansion. Last year, it brought the show to the Phelps Mansion Museum, and in October 2017, it performed another Dickens tale, “The Signal-Man,” as part of a Halloween-themed festival at the Vestal Museum.

Instead of being performed in a traditional theater, the show will be staged throughout the mansion, prompting audiences to stay on their feet during the entirety of the production. Guests will walk through the mansion as each room, stairwell and hallway is transformed into a new setting. Ticket sales will be strictly limited to ensure that each audience is no larger than 30 people.

Kate Murray, owner of Studio 271 Productions and director of this year’s production, said the small audience and interactive nature of the show will create a unique experience for visitors.

“It’s called immersive-type theater, so that means the audience is part of the show. They’ll be following the actors from room to room in the mansion, for scene to scene,” Murray said. “It’s very intimate — there’s only 30 people in the audience — and then all of the sudden they get so involved. They get to start breathing the same as the actors, they feel all the emotions and they actually become part of the show.”

“A Christmas Carol” follows the spiritual transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserly old grudge, as he is visited by three ghosts that teach him the value of kindness, family and generosity. The popular story, adapted from the novel, is commonly reimagined during the holiday season.

According to Murray, tickets for “A Christmas Carol” sell out every year. Spots for this year’s production are currently limited and almost sold out. After each production, there will be a reception with music and a photo opportunity with the actors, as well as hot drinks and cookies. Murray said that the event is a quick, relaxing option for a Sunday night.

“This show only runs through an hour, so you won’t be out late on a Sunday,” she said. “It’s a great event and we have people that come back year [after] year to see it.”

Showtimes are at 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9 and 16. All of the 5:30 p.m. shows have sold out, but there are still spots left for the 7:30 p.m. performances. Tickets are $33 per person.

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