Kenosha 2012 Dickens Celebration coverage

Dickens-Celebration-004-webThe Civil War Museum was the host of the Kenosha 2012 Dickens Celebration on Dec. 9, an event to commemorate the two hundredth anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. The free event featured many different activities happening simultaneously, creating a family-friendly afternoon that appealed to both adults and children.

Ray Forgianni, of the Kenosha HarborMarket, gave a cooking demonstration of some cuisine that would have typically been served in Victorian times. He drew large crowds as people gathered around the cooking station to watch him prepare the foods, asking questions about different cooking techniques and watching the process.

In another part of the museum lobby, others were fascinated by the tiny toy theatre brought in by the Puppet Underground, a puppet troupe recently formed in Kenosha. Members of the group used small paper puppets on rods to perform their show “Oliver! (with a Twist)” within the little toy theatre, constructed by local artist Chet Griffith. A couple of children were invited to join in the fun and act as puppeteers, and the group answered questions from the audience, explaining that this type of theatre was popular during Dickens’ time.

Meanwhile, members of SEWPA (SouthEast Wisconsin Performing Arts) provided a musical backdrop, filling the lobby with the sounds of the season as they sang holiday carols while decked out in Victorian-era garb. The event culminated with a standing-room-only live performance of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol”. Members of RG (Radio Girl) Productions and SEWPA performed the show in a traditional radio show format, which meant minimal costumes and acting. There was also the added fun of a “behind the scenes” peek at how sound effects are created to add to the ambiance, especially important since the show was recorded to be replayed on the radio.

Kenosha TV was on hand, recording the performance too, to be shown on Channel 14 later this month.

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