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December was pretty full. In Knoxville, my co-adaptation of A CHRISTMAS CAROL played to full houses at the Clarence Brown Theatre. This production was orginally directed by Kathleen Conlin in 2017. Then came the pandemic pause. But now they've remounted the show to great success with Jed Diamond as Scrooge. Jed played Scrooge the first two times I directed the play in Knoxville. He makes a wonderful Scrooge.

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, I had a blast directing a new incarnation of JOHN McGIVERN'S HOLIDAY TALES at the new, 1,000-seat Oak Creek Performing Arts Center.

Oak Creek is just south of Milwaukee and adjacent to Oak Creek High School. John began each act doing a number with the Oak Creek High School Jazz Band. It was a thrill for the students and really added a great element to the show. We also included some stories he hadn't told in years. As usual, it was a big success and he's already back invited back for next December.

Also, I've just learned that my application to the FULBRIGHT SPECIALIST ROSTER has been approved, so now I'm waiting to find out if the application submitted by Ala-Too International University to the U.S. Embassy in Bishkek is also going to be approved. If so, I'll likely be back to Kyrgyzstan for 6 weeks this spring. Or perhaps next fall. In any case, I'm pleased my application was a success and that I'll be on the Fulbright Specialist Roster for the next 3 years.

So begins 2024.


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