Taylor Morgan is the Audience Services and Marketing Coordinator here at Gulfshore Playhouse.
If you’ve ever had a conversation with Kristen Coury, chances are you have heard her say the phrase “the magic of theatre”. Upon my arrival at Gulfshore Playhouse I fully believed I knew what this meant. I had seen shows, been in shows, and been involved with shows that had sparked something deep in my heart that inspired me to leave differently than when I had arrived. I had experienced the rush of emotion and empathy that forever tied me to a character or a script. There is still not a day goes by that “The Last Five Years” doesn’t leave me sobbing. I was certain that I knew what it was Kristen was so fondly and passionately referring to.
But I was wrong. I was so wrong.
I had encountered shows that were important, riveting, and even, dare I say, life changing. But nothing like this, nothing like Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.
I sat down last week and attempted to read the script for Jacob Marley and was completely overwhelmed. I was constantly reminding myself that we had one actor cast in this show, just ONE actor. I was almost terrified, I fought the urge to go and tell Kristen we needed to find more actors! This was insanity, one person for all of these witty, quick mouthed, vastly different characters? Impossible.
Again, I was wrong.
I asked Kristen if I could watch a run of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol and before I could even set my phone back down it lit up with an “OF COURSE!” The lights dimmed in the theatre and a dark figure strolled gracefully and effortlessly onto the stage. The Cody Nickell I met previously had disappeared and in his place was a blank canvas of humanity. I watched, entranced, as he morphed seamlessly from Marley to record keeper, Bogle to Scrooge, man to child, and mortal to spirit. The stage as I had known it before melted away into earth, hell, and everywhere in between. Cody Nickell is one actor that truly encapsulates each character and gives them their own identity. Often times I found myself thinking that if I were to present this show to someone blind folded, they wouldn’t believe it was just one man on stage. One man who has the power to bring life to seventeen distinct and diverse characters; distinct down to the twinkle in the eye of the record keeper and the lack of it in the eyes of Scrooge when he is first introduced in the play. The twisting and enchanting story of Marley’s redemption found its way deep into my soul and left me feeling as if I had just flown through time and space along-side him. Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol left me with the true feeling of why this time of year is so important, the raw, uninhibited human connections we create and sustain through life. The family, friends, coworkers, and patrons we hold so dear are what make the Christmas season so special and brings us all together to celebrate the things that matter most in life. This time of year, and this show, has the power to convert any Scrooge.
So during this special and oh so magical time of year, I’d like to ask you, what is it that you hold dear? For me, it’s the magic of theatre and sharing that magic with the world. If you too believe in sharing life changing experiences found through theatre, we will be collecting donations for the Gulfshore Playhouse Education program during the run of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. You can “give the gift of theatre” to a child in need and allow them to participate in one of our amazing summer camps in 2016.
Because if we don’t share the magic, who will?
Merry Christmas from myself and everyone here at Gulfshore Playhouse, God bless us, everyone!