Thousand Oaks Acorn: December 9, 2004
POOR BUT PROUD - Continuing through Sun. Dec. 19 at the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks, the Santa Susana Repertory Company will present Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The Cratchit family members stand undaunted by their hardships while preparing to celebrate Christmas. Back row from left, Zane Taylor (son of Anne Lockhart), Anne Lockhart, Aidan Stough, Allan Hunt and Vanessa Haney. Front row from left, Juli Kunke, Brendan Rosenthal and Jacqueline Rosenthal.
Charles Dickens’ timeless tale A Christmas Carol is dear to Anne Lockhart, whose grandparents and mother were featured in the original 1938 film of the classic story.
Gene and Kathleen Lockhart played Mr. and Mrs. Cratchit and their daughter, June Lockhart, was Belinda, one of the Cratchit daughters.
Following in their footsteps, Anne Lockhart is now appearing as Mrs. Cratchit in the annual Santa Susana Repertory Company’s (SSRC) A Christmas Carol at the Scherr Forum in Thousand Oaks. The show was first staged by the company in 1997.
Lockhart’s children, Carly and Zane Taylor, are also actors in the show. They started as Cratchit children, but as they get older, their roles are changing.
"There were no home movie cameras in 1938, but I get to see my whole family every Christmas on film having Christmas dinner," Lockhart said.
"It’s a timeless story about how love and warmth is more important than all the money in the world, and nothing matters more than your family and the kindness that you show to the family of man," said Lockhart, who watches the film her grandparents were featured in every year.
"So when I got involved with this particular stage production, it was just a natural that I’d play Mrs. Cratchit," she said.
As a professional actress, Lockhart starred in ABC’s science-fiction series Battlestar Galactica, in which she portrayed Lt. Sheba. More recently, she starred as a defense attorney in Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, and she’s appeared on many TV shows. Today, Lockhart primarily does voiceovers.
Acting is a family practice, and Lockhart follows in the path of her great-grandfather John Coates Lockhart, grandparents Gene and Kathleen Lockhart and her mother, June Lockhart, best known for her years on the series Lassie and Lost in Space.
But even while she’s busy with a variety of projects, Lockhart still finds time for theater. She’s especially fond of the Repertory and the associated Kingsmen Shakespeare Company of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks. In 1997 the SSRC joined forces with CLU to create the Kingsmen Shakespeare Company, and Lockhart was instrumental in the undertaking. She’s been featured in several productions with the Kingsmen group.
But Lockhart is not the only well-known actor in SSRC’s A Christmas Carol.
"The company is a professional union company that gives an opportunity to other actors, especially the children, to learn what it’s like to be in a professional production," she said.
Actor Lane Davies, who’s the artistic director for the play, founded the SSRC in 1988. Davies will play the Second Spirit in this show, and television actor Robert Towers will portray Scrooge.
Allan Hunt, a professional actor who’s now the head of the Performing Arts Department at Oak Park High School, is directing the show.
SSRC is Ventura County’s resident nonprofit professional theatre company. They found a home at the Janet and Ray Scherr Forum Theatre in the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.
Other productions staged by the group include Man of La Mancha, Crockett, By Himself and Driving Miss Daisy.