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Junior drama club member performs in A Christmas Carol

December 12, 2017

Those who celebrate Christmas and enjoy the theatre may recall going to the Omaha Community Playhouse to watch A Christmas Carol once a year. It appears to be a tradition among many Omahans. The production of A Christmas Carol has been running for 42 years as of this winter. Of course, as with all traditions, things have changed over the years, most notably the cast. While the lead roles are often held by the same actors many years in a row, the ensemble and minor roles change year-to-year.  

Annie Hekl, the drama club historian and member of the dance ensemble for Central’s recent musical, Grease, is a member of the cast for the 2017 production of A Christmas Carol.  

Hekl doesn’t have prominent lines, but she is in the dances. “I am in the adult ensemble,” she said, “So adult ensemble is in the main street scenes and the party scenes.” 

The audition process for a public production is very different from a high school play. “For the whole season, they did it in one audition,” Hekl said, “So I was actually auditioning for Singing in the Rain … but then they emailed me and they were like ‘Hey, do you want to come to call-backs for A Christmas Carol?'” 

As with many young people who participate in large drama productions, Hekl began acting when she was nine-years-old in the 2009 production of A Christmas Carol, so going back to her roots was easy.  

“It’s really fun [to watch the child actors in the show now] because they look up to you … they’re doing what I did and it’s really cool because maybe someday they’ll be where I am now.” 

Being in the dance ensemble for the Grease production, Hekl may have a leg up in the dance scenes of A Christmas Carol. 

“In one of the party scenes, we do a polka, and that’s one of the hardest ones but it’s really fun … I actually have a dance partner … I get lifted up in both of [the dance scenes] because I’m so small.” 

This isn’t the first year a Central student has participated in a professional production. Another student is in a production of The Best Christmas Carol Ever at The Rose. Last year a student was in the 2016 production of A Christmas Carol. Central drama students seem to search consistently for bigger and better opportunities. 

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