Contact: John Hardy; 276 698-7683; firstname.lastname@example.org; JOHNHARDYTHEATRE.COMA CHRISTMAS CAROL
A Single Actor Plays Over Forty Roles in this Unique Production of the Dickens Classic, A Christmas Carol
John Hardy, nationally known for his one-man play, Rattlesnake, is now touring with a new production, also a one-man play, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The production features Hardy playing over forty characters.
“It is a loyal adaptation of the book”, says Hardy. “A Christmas Carol is one of the best known stories in the world and I wanted to retain, as much as possible, the essence of the book in its original form.” The play follows the book, scene by scene. “Even though it is the same story as the book, the experience of actually watching an actor move through the events of a play is vastly different than simply hearing the story or reading the book. I get entirely caught up in the story as I am doing the play, and the audience goes right along with me.”
From the first moment of the play until the last, Hardy never leaves the stage and he never changes costume. How then, does he manage to portray over forty characters? “Well, that’s the reason it is a difficult play to act. The characters are defined by variations in accents and speech patterns as well as physical traits. Most of the time, when acting in a play or a film, an actor has the job of creating one character, and that is difficult enough, but forty? It’s a big job, to say the least. That challenge is also the reason this production is a unique event. Even if an audience member has seen a previous production of A Christmas Carol, they have not seen it done like this.”
Fortunately, Hardy has some experience with the form of the one-man play. His production of Rattlesnake, in which he plays sixteen characters, somewhat prepared him for the daunting task of playing over forty characters. Hardy has been praised for his work in Rattlesnake, an original play that he wrote, in addition to being the only actor.
According to “A” MAGAZINE: “John Hardy’s… Rattlesnake… a groundbreaking creation…; Brilliant writing in the most original script I know…; You have never seen anything like it… sixteen characters, a small cavalcade, come to life before our eyes, distinctly and convincingly.” And THE ASHEVILLE MOUNTAIN EXPRESS: “Rattlesnake is a remarkable work… beautifully written and beautifully acted; …It rises to the kind of ritualistic intensity one does not often see, but always longs for, in contemporary theatre. Visionary, mystical and virtuosic in the execution…. It’s not every day that original theatre of this quality comes to Asheville….”
In working on A Christmas Carol, Hardy found that the story had much more to offer than he originally believed: “I was surprised at how funny it was. Dickens has taken this serious subject and somehow made it funny. It is a celebration of the spirit of Christmas. That is the best word that I can think of in describing this piece: Celebration; it is a celebration.”
Hardy has a special relationship with this story. “When I was living in New York City in the early 1980s, I was cast in an Off-Broadway production of A Christmas Carol. It was my first professional job in New York. Since then I have been in four different productions of A Christmas Carol so it is a special story for me, one that seems to follow me through my career. I suppose that is why I wanted to return to it by doing my own adaptation and taking on the seemingly impossible task of doing it as a one-man play.”
In December, 2012, John performed A Christmas Carol to sold-out houses at the Duke City Repertory Theatre in Albuquerque, NM. "We had to add performances. The word of mouth spread like wildfire. People came back to see it two and three times. I knew it was an excellent production but it was exhilarating to see it so well received." THE ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL wrote: "John Hardy's one-man version of A Christmas Carol... a stunning work of theatrical virtuosity. Run to see this; take the whole family. You will be transfixed from the first moment.... This play brings the story to life.... I've seen this story many times but never like this... it will be as if you are seeing it for the first time".
Mr. Hardy is in the midst of a thirty five year career in the professional theatre. He has worked all over the country and overseas. Over the course of his career John has directed over one hundred professional productions including Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, Julius Caesar, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Oedipus the King, Man of La Mancha, The Taming of the Shrew and others. As an actor John has played many of the great roles including Hamlet, MacBeth, Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie, Teach in American Buffalo and many others. In 2009 John played George in a national tour of Of Mice and Men. As a playwright he has had over fifty productions of fifteen plays produced across the country and overseas.
Among the many theatres John Hardy has worked at over the years: The Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Barter Theatre, The Duke City Repertory Theatre, The American Southwest Theatre Company, The Omaha Theatre Company, The Mountain Playhouse, Cape Fear Regional Theatre and Off-Broadway at The Lamb’s Theatre.
A Christmas Carol, A One-Man Play, Adapted and Performed by John Hardy, runs approximately seventy five minutes and is performed in one act. It is appropriate for audiences of any age but is best suited for ages ten and above.
Runtime: Approx. 100 minutes
Cast size: 1 actor
"John Hardy's...Rattlesnake...a groundbreaking creation...the first classic of the new century." Sean O'Sullivan, Theatre Columnist, A! Magazine For the Arts
"Rattlesnake is a remarkable work...beautifully written and beautifully acted..." John Crutchfield, Theatre Critic, Asheville Mountain Express
"Rattlesnake is sinuous, mean theatre; don't miss it!" Rob Weisfeld, Theatre Critic, The Abingdon Virginian
"Brilliant writing in the most original script I know... You have never seen anything like it... sixteen characters, a small cavalcade, come to life before our eyes, distinctly and convincingly... The entire piece is one immense poem with passages of lyric beauty given in plain everyday speech. It's a marvelous use of language, a lot of wit, much rich characterization. The performance is remarkable..." Sean O'Sullivan, Theatre Columnist, A! Magazine For the Arts