Today I am excited to share the Cup of Cheer I had with Vivian Ellsworth. Vivian is a most gifted person and performer. She has been a caroler for A Christmas Carol at Meadow Brook Theatre for many years, and this year she is the music director for the show. Audiences will fall in love with her kind smile, warm heart and gracious personality. Read her interview and then get thee to the box office to purchase tickets to the show.
Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now. Contact the box office at 248-377-3300 for tickets or find out more information by visiting our website at www.mbtheatre.com
~Travis W. Walter, Artistic Director
A Cup of Cheer with Vivian Ellsworth
How many years have you been in A Christmas Carol? This is my 4th year as a caroler here at Meadow Brook, but I’ve seen the show here every year since moving to Michigan 14 years ago. I am a native Californian and have great memories of seeing A Christmas Carol with my family every year when I was growing up. Over the years we saw it in San Francisco, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Now my parents live in Salt Lake City, UT, and they see it there every year.
What is your favorite part of the holiday season? Spending time with family, and, of course, SINGING!! Even after singing the carols for 8 weeks I love Christmas carols.
What is your favorite part of the story A Christmas Carol? I love Scrooge’s transformation! I love the idea that people can change and become better. That’s an important part of the message of Christmas.
There are many school matinees for A Christmas Carol, what is fun/special about performing for children? I am a teacher, and I look forward to seeing many of my own students in the matinees each year. I’m also a Mom, and it’s fun to see my children and their friends in the audience.
Bob Cratchit asks Scrooge for “one more piece of coal” do you prefer your house to be “warm as toast”, “just right”, or “cold enough to hang meat”? I prefer a cold house, but everyone else in my family likes it to be warm as toast, so there are times when I almost envy Bob Cratchit.
Scrooge promises to find Peter Cratchit a job and Martha almost misses Christmas dinner because she has to work … what kind of jobs did you have when you were young like Peter and Martha? I am one of ten siblings and my Dad was a great believer in “character building experiences.” I remember babysitting my younger brothers and sisters while I was growing up, we all did a lot of housework and yard work. We had a one acre garden that we all had to weed, water, and harvest during the Summer and Fall. I also started teaching flute and piano lessons when I was just 14 years old.
Favorite Christmas Drink.. Egg Nog or Wassail? Hot chocolate!
Scrooge loves money… When you get a present, do you prefer money or a gift? Does a gift card count as money?
Scrooge is visited by four ghosts… do you believe in ghosts? Well, I believe in angels, and I think Dickens’ ghosts are really angels. I believe that we get help from the other side when we need it.
If you were visited by the spirit of Christmas past how would you welcome looking back on your life? I would definitely like to fast forward some parts, but I’d love to remember the happy times, and even the difficult times taught me something.
Next project after A Christmas Carol? I am presenting a paper on Arts and Language Integration in Secondary Music Education at a Conference in January! I am passionate about music education and am enjoying working on my certification with the wonderful professors here at OU. And, I’m working with an African Drumming Club at Eagle Creek Academy, where I teach K-8 Music.
The Fezziwigs host the best parties. Any memorable moments from holiday parties you’d like to share? My grandparents used to have wonderful Christmas parties. My grandpa had a gorgeous genuine Santa Claus suit and he used to play Santa Claus at the parties. In fact, I thought he was the real Santa Claus when I was little!
The spread at the Fezziwig’s party is unbelievable…. what is your favorite holiday food? Anything that my mother bakes . . . or my friend Amy’s English toffee.
Other favorite Charles Dickens novels? I love Great Expectations. I wanted to name one of my sons “Pip” (but I think that Tanner and Ian are happy that I didn’t).
Why do you think so many families come to see this show year after year? The same reason that my parents took us every year . . . to hope that the message gets to them and that they can “keep Christmas well” every day of the year.
What is your favorite holiday? Thanksgiving! I like taking time to be thankful for what we have and to be with family without a lot of commercialism.
Baking is huge during the holidays, do you bake? if so what do you like to bake? I only know how to bake one thing really well, parker house dinner rolls. I have my grandmother’s recipe, and when I bake them I think of my mother and my grandmother. Just the smell of the dough rising reminds me of them and takes me back to wonderful holiday celebrations with my family when I was a little girl.
What message do you hope the audience takes with them about A Christmas Carol? It doesn’t matter how rich or poor you are if you have family and friends, and if you “honour Christmas in your heart and try to keep it all the year.”
Finish this sentence: “My favorite gift that I ever received during the holiday season was_______”
…the year that my daughter, Lauren, was Martha Cratchit here at Meadow Brook. I used to sneak backstage in between my scenes and watch her while she was on stage for her scenes. I never got to watch her from the audience, but it was an incredible gift for me to watch her from the wings. It was great to share this beautiful experience with my daughter.”