After graduation from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts and spending more than a decade in New York City, Brett Crandall has come home to perform. Crandall, a native of Deerfield, wants to share his talents with children throughout Kansas.
At 4 p.m. Thursday, he will perform a one-man adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” at the Finney County Public Library.
“It puts everybody in a great mood,” Crandall said. “Everybody is happy and joyous after the show. It’s a great way to spend the holidays.”
Crandall will perform with two puppets, one will take on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, and the other will portray the ghost of Jacob Marley. Having hand-crafted both of these puppets, Crandall is able to switch characters quickly, and vocal cords, as well.
“Puppetry is the secret ingredient on how I can do this as a one-man show,” Crandall said. “In order to operate them, it helps to make them. I can engineer them to fit my hand.”
Crandall is currently directing plays at his alma mater, Deerfield High School. He is also constructing puppets and touring a variety of one-man shows throughout Kansas. Along with “A Christmas Carol,” Crandall has performed “Oliver Twist,” “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” and “Peter Pan” in schools, at senior centers and at libraries.
By watching classic books come to life, children learn to experience literature through a different lens. These shows also expose area youth to the magic of live performance.
“It’s so entertaining to watch,” said Calli Villanueva, program director for the Finney County Public Library. “Kids get to see their favorite characters come to life.”
This is Crandall’s second year touring Kansas with his one-man adaptations. He enjoys seeing children become engaged in his interactive show.
“The more we put stories in front of audiences, the more it sparks them wanting to be more creative,” Crandall said. “Wherever you are, you can be creative in your hometown.”