On Friday, more than 700 public school students, third through sixth grade, will hop off chartered buses at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek.
Coming from Title 1 schools in Richmond, East Contra Costa County and Martinez, many of these students will be seeing their first live performance ever, according to a news release from the Diablo Regional Arts Association.
The Lesher Center’s popular annual production of “A Christmas Carol” will transport these children into Charles Dickens’ London and a timeless tale of redemption, giving and family.
Excerpts from the press release:
These students are guests of the Diablo Regional Arts Association, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the Lesher Center. Through its Arts Access School Time program, DRAA provides free tickets and transportation to more than 4,000 K-12 Contra Costa County students throughout the year.
These students live in underserved neighborhoods of Contra Costa County. Their schools are in districts that often cope with tough budget choices by gutting classroom arts programs.
Teacher Nancy Clancy will again bring a third-grade class from Bay Point’s Rio Vista Elementary to see “A Christmas Carol.” She said her students get excited about getting on the bus, and they always sit in rapt attention during the performance, taking in the play’s lessons.
“They gasp in delight when the actor playing Jacob Marley pops up from beneath stage,” Clancy said. “At the end of last year, one of my students, a little boy, said: ‘This was my favorite thing in third grade.’”
The schools participating in the Dec. 9 field trip are from Sun Terrace and Meadow Home elementary schools in Concord; Richmond College Preparatory School in Richmond; Foothill Elementary and Heights elementary schools in Pittsburg; Rio Vista Elementary in Bay Point; ; Antioch Middle School in Antioch; Verde Elementary in Richmond; and Martinez Academy in Martinez.
Walnut Creek seniors
This year, DRAA also is hosting “A Christmas Carol” field trip for about 30 low-income seniors who live at the Casa Montego senior apartments in Walnut Creek. As with the School Time programs, DRAA will cover the costs of guests’ tickets and transportation to the Sunday, December 11 matinee performance of “A Christmas Carol.”
The show features a sumptuous set and costumes, rousing dance numbers, spectacular special effects and a talented cast headed by Bay Area veteran Jack Powell as the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge.