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Mars Theatre to host 'Bah, Humbug!'
Bah, Humbug!
Bilinda Sikes instructs Effingham County MIddle School Drama Club members Monday as high school helpers Brantley Weber (from left), Jordan Sikes, Nicholas Case and Archie Thigpen stand behind her on the Mars Theatre stage. - photo by Mark Lastinger/staff
The kids are so excited to have theatrical lighting and real sound. I am excited for them to get the opportunity because they deserve it
ECMS Drama Club instructor Bilinda Sikes

 SPRINGFIELD — “Bah, Humbug!”

Those words aren’t usually used to welcome the holiday season. That won’t be the case Dec. 11-12, however, when the Effingham County Middle School Drama Club presents its musical adaptation of “A Christmas Carol.”

“We are doing our first full musical version of it this year,” drama instructor Bilinda Sikes said, “and we’re performing it at the Mars (Theatre).”

Sikes and her students are thrilled with the opportunity to move beyond the stage in the ECMS gym. Typically, they have to sandwich their rehearsals and shows between athletic events and other activities.

“There’s a lot of competition for that space,” Sikes said.

After learning of the drama club’s plight, Theatre Director Allison Newberry made the Mars available for practices three days a week.

“They’ve rolled out the red carpet for us,” Sikes said. “The kids are so excited to have theatrical lighting and real sound. I am just excited for them to get the opportunity because they deserve it.”

 Previous drama club versions of “A Christmas Carol” didn’t feature singing and dancing.

“This is four years in the making,” Sikes said. “We are hoping it is going to be bigger and better than ever. The kids have worked really, really hard and we are super proud of them.”

Each presentation will feature 52 middle schoolers and 10 elementary schoolers. There are also eight high school-aged helpers.

The drama club members love what they do. Every sixth and seventh grader who participated in last year’s version of “A Christmas Carol” is back for another go-around.

“And we have a lot of (new) sixth graders who have joined us,” Sikes said. “Plus, the addition of a chorus has also increased the number of students we have with us. It’s also encouraging to have high school students who want to come back and help.”

The school purchased rights to “Bah, Humbug!” from Pioneer Drama.

“So we’ve got full accompaniment that we’ve paid for,” Sikes said. 

The students have been working on the songs and acting parts since August.

“All of our actors are part of music and we have a chorus that we are putting on stage as part of the company” Sikes said. 

A free outreach performance for families served by the Department of Family and Children Services, Family Promise of the Coastal Empire and the Treutlen House is slated Dec. 10.

“Our school is actually doing a Jeans Day to raise money to also be able to buy concessions for those families,” Sikes said.

The shows for the public on Dec. 11 will start at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. The lone Dec. 12 performance will begin at 3 p.m.

Reserved seat tickets cost $10. They can be obtained at