Kids perform Dickens Christmas-style |

Kids perform Dickens Christmas-style

BRECKENRIDGE – Local kids will bring Charles Dickens’ quirky, melancholy characters to life in “A Dickens Christmas” this weekend as part of a biannual Backstage Theater production. The program involves first- through eighth-graders from local schools performing a play written specially for the program by director Craig Sodaro.”Craig starts from scratch. He takes 25 kids and writes the roles and the script. Sometimes it’s original. This year he used adaptations of Dickens characters,” said Jeremy Cole, the Backstage Theatre’s artistic director. Showgoers can expect a Christmas play with a twist of Dickensian spookiness. “Dickens loved ghost stories and was always expected to write Christmas stories, so he sometimes combined the two,” said Sodaro. “But this show has a light touch. It’s not scary, just fun to watch.”The production also features children confronting hardship and neglect, another Dickens theme. For the performers, the production introduces the world of public speaking and performance. “The biggest way it helps is socialization skills and self-esteem, especially public speaking. You see a kid who may be painfully shy come out of his shell,” Cole said. The Backstage Theatre is now taking reservations for the production next semester. For more information, parents should call the theater at (970) 453-0199. Cost is $50.Justin Epperly can be contacted at

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