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Ghost of Christmas Future, from A Christmas Carol

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We just finished up our run of A Christmas Carol, which ran for five performances. It took us about a month and a half to put up the set, and just an hour to tear 95 percent of it down after the final show December 7th. I just wanted to share with you guys our highlight, the Ghost of Christmas Future. Although I only saw the Ghost perform once (the night we taped it), I got tremendous feedback from the audience and the cast. During the performance, Scrooge would pull the audience's attention toward one end of the theatre; as he performed a scene with a beggar, my crew hoisted up the ghost. The pulleys were silent, and the crew never made a sound, and when the lights shifted from Scrooge to the ghost, the audience all oohed and ahhhed. That's when my ego jumped several points.

It's really a simple ghost: a little wood for the head, some 3" diameter PVC tubing for the shoulders, and 1" PVC for the arms, fingers, and control rod. Jim Henson would have been proud of the mechanics on the fingers. My original plan was to have all the fingers move, but we ended up with having the Ghost point just the index finger on the right hand. I ran an elastic bungee cord through the finger so that it would tense and pull out to the pointing position, and then just used black line attached to the tip to pull in back; let go of the string, and the finger points. I have to give the real credit to Nathaniel Blauss and Joey Gannon: they were the two that dragged it out to the pulley, hoisted it and operated it, all in the dark. They were the two that made this come to life and amaze everyone. I'd like to send you pictures of the set, when they get developed, and share with you our simple secret for set design (although it is not too fireproof); I'll tell you about it soon. Keep up the great work on your pages.

-- Patrick Flanagan


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