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Ellis students ghosting a virtual experience

Few visions at Christmas are more iconic than the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come ghoulishly pointing the way to Ebenezer Scrooge’s dark future should he not change his ways.

Now, Ellis Middle School students are going to get the opportunity to see this and everything else that makes Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” a classic.

On Tuesday, the students will take part in a virtual showing of the story by the Guthrie Theatre titled “Dicken’s Holiday Classic,” which is giving schools the opportunity to see the show after the COVID-19 pandemic shut its stages down.

The opportunity is a perfect fit for the students of Kristi Kreun and Julie Walski, who teach seventh grade language arts at Ellis.

Tina Henely, technology integration coach at Ellis, has helped coordinate the viewing.

“Since most of the kids in the school, including eighth graders, have all studied it, they approached the district with the idea of a school-wide virtual field trip,” Henely said. “Normally, students do not attend this play due to the cost and so this is a pretty awesome experience for the kids.”

The Guthrie has made this a free event to schools and in turn, Ellis has turned the entire experience into a virtual field trip.

Students will meet with advisory teachers and in turn the teacher will share their community screen with students who will be able to watch this simultaneously.

The entire theatre experience will be available to the students as they experience a full show complete with intermission. Intermission will include “A Christmas Carol,” scavenger hunt and after the show, the students will write letters to their past, present and future selves.

They will also be taught theater etiquette, which in this case will include not chatting as in a live theatre setting there would be no talking.

The showing on Tuesday will start with students meeting with the advisory teacher and then at 10:05 the show will start.

The Guthrie’s offer to school has presented a special opportunity to students.

“I think (students) work really hard to study this play and in a normal year they aren’t able to attend a theater performance,” Henely said. “This is in a virtual format and is actually available for us for free. It’s an amazing opportunity for the kids.”