Theatreworks is gearing up for the holidays by jumping into rehearsals for A Christmas Carol, directed by Caitlin Lowans.
We are proud to re-envision Murray Ross’ 2016 adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Don’t miss the wonderment and joy of Charles Dicken’s classic tale of opening your heart to others. In the midst of your holiday shopping, take an evening with your family to remember what makes this season special. Get your tickets here
One thing setting this production apart from the past is the live music. The multi-talented cast members are collaborating our Music Director (and local composer), Curtis Schweitzer, to bring you a soundscape that will liven up your holidays. We got a chance to talk with Curtis about his life, career, and inspirations.
Curtis: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA!
TW: Home now?
Curtis: Also Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA!
TW: Can you tell us about your training/background?
Curtis: I have a Bachelor's of Music and real-world experience scoring for film, TV, and video games (more on that later). This is my first time working in theatre and I am really enjoying it! I've been writing music since high school, and have had a piece performed by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic.
TW: What inspired your passion for music?
Curtis: I've been an active musician since I started taking piano lessons as a kid and have sort of never been interested in anything else. I started writing music in high school (mostly choral and piano works), and naturally gravitated toward film music. I'd always planned to try breaking into the film industry, but through a series of happy accidents found myself scoring mostly interactive media instead.
TW: Who are your music idols?
Curtis: I of course have to list the usual Bach/Beethoven/Brahms, (because how can you not?) but what really inspired me to get into music were the film scores of John Williams, Rachel Portman, James Horner, and Jerry Goldsmith.
TW: What is your intent with the music in A Christmas Carol?
Curtis: Artistic Director Caitlin Lowans and I have discussed creating a musical "thread" of carols that ties our story together—we have very deliberately picked specific carol music to compliment the story and beautiful text of the play. Music gives us a chance to highlight the story of a man moving from isolation into the fullness of community in a unique way—especially since our wonderful performers will be creating most of the music you'll hear.
TW: How does composing for theatre differ from composing for film or video games?
Curtis: Theatre is very freeing—you aren't tied to specific hits on specific frames that are given to you down to the 1/24th of a second. There's a chance to create music that breathes with the action on the stage and can be different every performance. At the same time, it is different than interactive media in that it is more structured—you're still writing for an audience, not a player. It feels almost like writing concert music, and I've enjoyed the process very much.
TW: What’s on your personal playlist, right now?
Curtis: Christmas Carols! In preparation for arranging the snippets of music we've chosen for this production, I've been listening to the album "Once, as I Remember" featuring John Eliot Gardiner and the Monteverdi Choir on repeat for about 2 months. I've also been imbibing a lovely, non-Christmas album from Thomas Bergerson called "American Dream."
TW: What’s one thing we don’t know about you?
Curtis: When I'm not writing music, I'm roasting my own coffee!
TW: You’re stranded on a deserted island and you can only bring one instrument to play for the rest of eternity… What would you bring and why?
Curtis: I think I have to go with melodica here: small, portable, and based around a keyboard that's close enough to a piano's that I could maybe play it. Plus, you might be able to use it as a club to fend off the local wildlife if you needed to.