The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


November 23, 2012

Spirited Dickens tale visits BTE




Plenty of local talent

Of course, every great story needs a great cast to bring the complex characters to life and as usual, the BTE has an abundance of local talent, both young and young at heart, who shine in the spotlight.

“I’m really excited to be part of the play. I love the story and how people that see it will learn not to be like Scrooge and instead be nice,” said Emma Varano, a 9-year-old Danville resident who makes her stage debut as Belinda Cratchit. “This is a really fun experience and I get to work with a lot of great people. I’m a little nervous about being in the play but I am also very excited.”

The production also includes a large cast of community residents from Bloomsburg and surrounding areas, including ensemble member Daniel Roth as the coldhearted Ebenezer Scrooge. Roth recently gave a sweeping performance in BTE’s “Moon Over Buffalo” and his take on Ebenezer looks to be equally impressive.

Laurie McCants will serve as the performance’s storyteller, which is one of  script’s new elements in the two-hour production.

“The BTE presents a variety of theatre throughout our seasons, including classics, comedies, musicals and, of course, holiday family shows. We have produced ‘A Christmas Carol’ 15 times in our 35-year history, but we don’t present it every year,” said BTE mainstay Syreeta Combs-Cannaday. “In years past, we have presented ‘A Christmas Story,’ ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ in our stage adaptation called ‘Merry Christmas, George Bailey’ and ‘Miracle on 34th Street,’ among many others.”

Combs-Cannaday noted nearly 4,000 people typically attend BTE’s annual holiday production and the group already has more than 2,000 local students scheduled for afternoon matinees.

“It’s incredible to receive such support from our community, both here in Bloomsburg, and in outlying areas like Danville, Selinsgrove, Sunbury, Northumberland and beyond,” Combs-Cannaday said. “Schools make time in their already busy holiday schedules for BTE because their students really benefit from experiencing live theater.”


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