Theatre and Dance at Wayne Welcomes Guest Director Katie Campbell to the set of A Christmas Carol

WSU’s College of Fine, Performing and Communication Arts’ Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance kicked off its holiday season this year by welcoming guest theatre artist Katie Campbell.

Campbell is guest-directing this year’s A Christmas Carol, now playing at the Bonstelle Theatre through Sunday, Dec. 17.

“I am excited help bring the joy of A Christmas Carol to the stage,” said Campbell. “As an artist, I am really drawn to personal transformation and this is the perfect story to showcase just that, as it takes place in one night.”

Campbell comes to the Department of Theatre Dance from Little Rock, Arkansas, where she is currently an actor and director at Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre. Campbell has an M.F.A. in directing theatre for young audiences from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and a B.A. in theatre arts from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

While with the Arkansas Arts Center Children's Theatre, Campbell created a shadow puppet piece for “The Ugly Duckling,” which was awarded the Jim Henson Foundation Family Grant. The grant celebrates innovation and excellence in puppetry.

Campbell is no stranger to Wayne State, as she was also the guest director for the department’s 2015 rendition of James and the Giant Peach, one of Roald Dahl's earliest novels, which was adapted for the stage by David Wood.

“I fell in love with the university and the community,” said Campbell. “I was really impressed by the faculty’s dedication and passion to create a space for students to grow their craft and explore artistically.”

This adaptation of A Christmas Carol by John Wolf, chair of the Maggie Allesee Department of Theatre and Dance, and Tom Aulino brings new life to a timeless holiday classic. The students and professors collaborating on the project have access to the latest innovations in the industry, allowing them to create enthralling magical effects. With five projectors and a bank of computers, this production mixes visuals from the past with modern technology and creativity to create spectacular imagery for this holiday production.

“Katie has created A Christmas Carol to provide an opportunity for our students and establish holiday traditions for families in metro Detroit,” said Wolf. “Families no longer gather to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. This 75-minute production of spectacle, magic and heart provides the perfect vehicle for families with children of all ages to come together.  I am grateful for Katie’s talent, creativity, and kindness. All three are evident in this production.”

 As for words of wisdom to up and coming theatre professionals – at all roles – Campbell encourages students to “be the kind of person you want to work with.”

“Share your talents with your fellow artists and strive to work together while embarking on your journey.”

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