The Coaster Theatre Playhouse will return to its roots with a 2020 Dickens Play Project. Volunteers will come together to provide patrons the theatre’s annual holiday performance.
Here’s what to expect as the theatre ventures into the holiday season:
• Between now and Oct. 9, a volunteer writing group will begin building the script.
• On Sunday, Oct. 11, the workshop phase of the Dickens Play Project begins. The theatre will recruit readers to read one of five drafts of the script to allow the writers to hear the show and make adjustments. The final reading of the draft will be Sunday, Oct. 25. All readings will be held via Google Meet.
• When the final script is approved, the theatre will assess the current data surrounding COVID-19 to determine whether to move ahead as a digital or live production.
• Auditions for the performances will be at the end of October
• Rehearsals will begin the week of Nov. 1 and will be held for four weeks (with the week of Thanksgiving off).
• Whether staged or digital, the Dickens Play Project will be presented in December leading up to the Christmas holiday.
For anyone unfamiliar with the Coaster Theatre’s history and its annual Dickens play, the fall of 1973 brought a gas crunch that left Cannon Beach wanting for visitors. Vicki Hawkins, then owner of the Cannon Beach Gazette, developed the idea of a Dickens theme with window decorations, food and costumes for the entire community at Christmas. Hawkins came up with the motto, “The Low Lights will be the Highlights of Cannon Beach.” She said the town was a natural for a Dickens theme – the shopkeepers dressed in clothing of the Dickens era; the kids wore wool caps, scarves, and leggings.
In keeping with the Dickens theme, the community decided to put on a Dickens play. The Dickens play became an annual tradition welcoming generations of North Coast families both on and off stage to the Coaster Theatre during the holiday season.
As is the case these days, these plans are subject to change as the theatre keeps up to date on the latest directives from the federal, state and local governments and works to provide a safe environment for its performers, patrons and staff.
About the Coaster Theatre:
The Coaster Theatre is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the cultural, artistic and civic vitality of Cannon Beach by continuing the tradition of producing quality community theatre and memorable experiences for residents and visitors of all ages.
Each year the Coaster Theatre produces five plays and two musicals in addition to two Coaster Theatre Kidz camps and Special Events throughout the year.