Press Release: ​​Conservatory Students in A Christmas Carol

​SCR's "A Christmas Carol"—A Family Affair
39th Annual Production Includes 16 Theatre Conservatory Students

COSTA MESA, Calif. (Nov. 14, 2018)—On their first day of rehearsal for South Coast Repertory’s production of A Christmas Carol, which runs on the Segerstrom Stage Nov. 24 through Dec. 24, the show’s youngest cast members gathered for group photographs. In a time-honored tradition, they followed the lead of director John-David Keller and donned colorful holiday scarves for the occasion. Then the young actors were off to dive into the script. Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now at

The 16 actors are students in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory and were chosen through auditions open to all third-year students and above, as well as second-year students recommended by their instructors. The role of Tiny Tim is cast separately, with a few first-year students who have shown exceptional focus and maturity in class and fit the role physically being offered the opportunity for an audition.

The young people are divided into two teams of eight each, known as the Red Team and Green Team, and alternate performances to allow them time to spend at home with their families during the holidays.

For Keller, the young actors are vital to the show’s success. 

“I can’t emphasize enough how important they are to A Christmas Carol,” he said. “Many scenes are anchored by the children and some of the most important moments involve them.”

The young actors include Olivia Drury and Sarah Frazin (Martha Cratchit); Nicholas Brown and Grady Farman (Peter Cratchit); Liliana Bertoldi and Lauren Lee (Belinda Cratchit); Presley Coogan and Leah Kaplan (Tiny Tim); Nichole Wheeler and Emme O’Toole (Teen Girl About Town); Sara Hardyman and Grace Galipeau (Girl About Town); Taren Azizi and Dane Bergman (Boy Scrooge); and Sebastian Ramirez and Dylan Gorham (Turkey Boy).

Cast by Cities:

  • Aliso Viejo: Leah Kaplan
  • Chino Hills: Nichole Wheeler
  • Corona del Mar: Grace Galipeau
  • Costa Mesa: Sara Hardyman
  • Fountain Valley: Sarah Frazin
  • Huntington Beach: Grady Farman
  • Irvine: Nicholas Brown, Lauren Lee, Emme O’Toole, Taren Azizi
  • Laguna Niguel: Olivia Drury
  • Newport Coast: Dane Bergman
  • Placentia: Presley Coogan
  • Santa Ana: Liliana Bertoldi, Sebastian Ramirez
  • Yorba Linda: Dylan Gorham

A Christmas Carol runs on the Segerstrom Stage Nov. 24–Dec. 24. For tickets or more information, visit

Upcoming Family Friendly Productions: Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: The Rock Experience by Mo Willems, with music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, Feb. 1-17 (Theatre for Young Audiences); and The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams and adapted by Janet Allard, May 24-June 9 (Theatre for Young Audiences). Complete information is available at

Written by Danielle Bliss

ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964 by David Emmes and Martin Benson, is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern theatre, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program, which includes the nation’s largest commissioning program for emerging and established writers. One-quarter of SCR’s 525 productions have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio.