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Great Falls Resident Stars in 'A Christmas Carol'

Forestville Elementary fifth grader lands his first professional role in the Ford’s Theatre production of the Charles Dickens classic.

Great Falls resident John Anderson, 10, ended up auditioning for the Ford’s Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol” by accident. His mother Diane Anderson found information about “Peter Rabbit” auditions online, but was told the notice was three years old when she called the listed phone number.

“So she asked if there were auditions for any other shows, and they told her that Ford’s Theatre was doing ‘A Christmas Carol,’” said John Anderson, who is a fifth grade student at Forestville Elementary School.

Anderson showed up for the audition and was chosen out of 300 other boys for the role of Peter.

“I didn’t think that I was going to get the part,” said Anderson.

Although he has been performing at his church since the age of six — sometimes in front of 2,000-person audiences — this marks his first professional stage appearance.

“It’s really fun,” he said. “I just like going there and having fun with my friends.”

Anderson said that, for him, the toughest part of participating in this show has been learning to put on a British accent, which he has been able to do with the help of a dialect coach. However, he has not been nervous at all during performances, and he said he does not mind the demanding work schedule.

“Sometimes I do three shows a week, sometimes I do six, but I really like it — I love singing and dancing and acting,” he said, noting that he most likely plans on becoming an actor when he is older.

Fortunately for Anderson, the Forestville Elementary School administration has been extremely supportive of his surprise seasonal job.

“They’ve been very generous and supportive,” said Anderson’s grandmother Erma Dalton.

In addition to playing the role of Peter, Anderson also plays several other small parts. The end result is that he has five different costumes and seven costume changes throughout the show.

THE PRESENTATION of “A Christmas Carol” is a favorite annual holiday tradition at the historic Ford’s Theatre. However, due to renovations, this year’s performances of the Ford’s Theatre production written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Michael Wilson and originally directed by Matt August, will take place at the Lansburgh Theatre on 7th St. in N.W. Washington D.C.

“It’s still Christmas in Washington, just with a new twist to a classic story,” said Paul Tetreault, producing director of Ford’s Theatre.

Grandmother Erma Dalton saw the show on opening night and was thrilled.

“It was great,” said Dalton. “I didn’t know he was going to be doing as many parts as he is.”

“A Christmas Carol” opened Dec. 6 and will run through Dec. 29. Tickets are on sale now the Lansburgh Theatre Box Office or www.fords.org.