December 22, 2020 | By Shae Vehorn
Let’s All Go to the Drive-In
Through December 24
The beloved holiday classic A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens has been given a festive reimagining as an outdoor, drive-in performance.
Presented by freeFall Theatre, A Christmas Carol: In Concert is performed in freeFall’s own parking lot. Patrons view the holiday concert in a drive-in style experience from the comfort of their own vehicles, while the show’s audio is broadcast through your car radio.
freeFall Theatre’s innovative drive-in theatrical performances are among the first of their kind in the Tampa Bay area. Their first drive-in production of War of the Worlds was born from the challenges presented by the current pandemic to bring theatrical performance to the community in a safe manner.
“The pandemic hit the business hard,” says Matthew McGee of freeFall Theatre. “We were initially worried a drive-in performance would not go well because we’d never done it, but the show ended up being a huge success.”
Great uncertainty has overtaken the performing arts industry since the start of COVID-19. With large gatherings suspended for the foreseeable future, gone are the days of crowds of spectators squeezed into an auditorium or amphitheater to enjoy live programming. As a result, droves of people who make their living in the performing arts industry are out of work.
“Through our drive-in performances, we were able to provide programming and jobs in an industry that is currently struggling,” McGee says.
freeFall’s A Christmas Carol puts a new spin on a beloved holiday tradition for many families. The production features narration from the original novel paired with live acting and musical numbers.
“A Christmas Carol is a heartwarming story of redemption we could all really use during this time,” explains McGee.
A Christmas Carol: In Concert was created by Keith Ferguson and Bruce Greer. The production is directed by Eric Davis with musical direction by Michael Raabe.
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For the safety of freeFall’s artists, dividers are placed between performers onstage and physical distancing guidelines are upheld between actors. Patrons are urged to stay in their vehicles and required to wear an effective face covering if the need arises to leave their vehicle for any reason.
In the spirit of the production, freeFall is partnering with Feeding Tampa Bay during the holiday season “when want is keenly felt and abundance rejoices” and encouraging donations.
Admission is by vehicle, with up to 4 occupants. Performances are at 6:30 pm and 8:30 pm.
Tickets can be purchased at freefalltheatre.com or by calling 727-498-5205.
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Photos by Thee Photo Ninja