Every year for decades my family and friends have gathered at my home for one of my favorite Christmas traditions, a reading of “A Christmas Carol” by Charles Dickens.

This year our Dickensian evening was a bit different, we brought the victorian classic to the internet age. We gathered across time zones and miles via zoom. 

Here are tips on how to have your very own Zoom “A Christmas Carol” party.

STAYING ON THE SAME PAGE!

Download the PDF of “A Christmas Carol” above.  This is Dickens’ full story not the script of the play. It takes place in five chapters called “Staves”. It helps if everyone is using the same text because it is easier to follow along. Our party had some attendees using their own copies and they do fine. But they had to pay attention to where we were in the story if they had glanced away to fill their glass or let the dog out.

HAVE A MODERATOR OR DIRECTOR IN PLACE.

Have a host in charge that can keep the event moving.

They need to be able to:

  • Stay for the entire story.
  • Be familiar with zoom so that they can mute and unmute as needed.
  • Keep an eye open for Admitting late comers into the meeting.
  • Reassign parts on the fly at the start of each Stave.

TAKE BREAKS.

Break between staves if needed. This will also give you a moment to chat about something or grab a snack. Let participants know that they can take breaks as needed to tend to things that come up and to turn off their video so it doesn’t distract from the reading.

CASTING!

Cast list download above. Here is the list of speaking parts in each stave. Assign the parts to participants before hand and you’ll have the most fun. People will stay on because they know they are needed for the “performance.” On the PDF above next to each character in parentheses is the page number cue. Again, this is helpful if everyone is using the same text of the story.

Things to keep in mind when casting:

  • Narrators should love to read out loud. Try to cast strong readers for the narrator and Scrooge. Strong readers will relax everyone else.
  • Share the Scrooge and Narrator parts. Assign someone new for each stave or alternate.
  • The 4th Stave features cockney accents. These can be fun but long and tedious unless the readers are nimble.
  • The Spirit of Christmas Future has no lines. Don’t assign to someone who likes to speak.
  • I reserve the part of Jacob Marley every year. Assign to an enthusiastic over actor!

If you want to see these characters performed beautifully watch the 1951 film version starring Alastair Sim. Watch the trailer and find out where you can watch here.

Merry Christmas,

Mimi

Mimi’s 2018 Christmas Blog Post of Clips from “A Christmas Carol” 

Host a Zoom Reading of “A Christmas Carol”

The Theatre Association of New York State (TANYS) festival is going virtual this year. As Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, “All the world’s a stage..”

The festival is two days of workshops and features a keynote speaker each day. Mimi will be the keynote speaker on the second day of the event, Saturday 11/21/20. 

The deadline to register is Saturday, November 14th.

TANYS serves nonprofessional theatre in New York State. Specifically community, university and college, secondary school drama departments, and Children Theatres across the state. 

The organization strives to foster the contribution of theater to the lives of NYS citizens. TANYS promotes the high standards of theatre practice through education and example. This encouragement allows for the exchange of ideas through creative expression and gives individuals an outlet to receive and transmit these interactions. 

“I’m thrilled to participate in a festival that celebrates community theatre and the community that theatre brings to our lives. To be asked by my hometown theatre, The Rochester Community Players is a true full circle moment.” – Mimi Kennedy.

Mimi’s mother, Nancy was actively involved in the Rochester Community Players and served many roles including as board president. 

The festival is a great resource for anyone interested in theatre. Whether you are already a member of a community theatre organization, an educator or an aspiring actor-there is a workshop for you! 

Learn More About TANYS: http://www.tanys.org/AboutUs.html 

Register for the Event: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/tanys-tough-the-power-of-theatre-registration-117796433303 

Mimi and her mother Nancy Kennedy perform on the Rochester PBS affiliate WXXI.

Mimi with her mother Nancy. Courtesy the Rochester Community Players.

Mom Season 8 sees Christy (played by Anna Faris) leaving to go to law school after the actor who plays her suddenly announced her departure earlier this year. Anna Faris may be out of the show, but Mom continues with its remaining cast members, which include Oscar-winning actor Allison Janney.

Janney, as well as other Mom co-stars like Mimi Kennedy and Jamie Pressly, have spoken about Farris’ departure from the CBS comedy.

Most of these comments come courtesy of an interview with Entertainment Tonight. In this, Janney led the tributes to Farris, saying: “It’s a huge loss for the show to not have Anna…we will miss her so much.

Kennedy’s take on Farris leaving was as follows: “I had the dressing room next to her and I played her sponsor. And I got to know how smart she is… and I really, really enjoyed talking to her. She was also very funny and very witty and I’m going to miss that.”

Wendy actor Beth Hall added: “The thing about Anna was she was always so encouraging. If you were funny, if you did a great scene, she was always the first one to compliment you and tell you how well it went.”

READ THE FULL ARTICLE HERE

MOM airs Thursday nights at 9/8c on CBS.

How is the cast reacting to Anna leaving the show?

Mom Cast interview with EXTRA

Allison Janney and ‘Mom’ Co-Stars Address Anna Faris’ Exit: ‘It’s a Huge Loss’ (Exclusive)

How will the show dynamic change without Christy Plunkett?

“It’s an enormous loss. The show was very much built around her and Allison. For her to step out was a big move to cope with. But we have an extraordinary ensemble led by Allison in a show about women in recovery. Let’s continue to tell the stories of a wonderful group of people we’d come to know and care about. When the (season) debuts, Christy  has gone on to greater things. Her career and path through life is going great. Recovery from addiction – not always but very often – brings with it an extraordinary life. And that’s the story we’re telling with Anna’s character, that her life has leapt up to another level, which has her leaving Napa Valley to go to Washington and finish her education.” – Chuck Lorre.

Will MOM address the Covid-19 Pandemic?

The short answer? No. 

“The question of whether or not to deal with COVID is something that we grappled with quite a bit. However, because our show has never before reflected current events in our storytelling, we ultimately decided not to address it. For us, it feels like we made the right decision and hopefully our audience will enjoy a little escape when they watch our show.” -Gemma Baker

“Going into this season, we thought for sure that all of the COVID restrictions would change the type of episodes we could produce. But now that we have five shows under our belt, we’re pretty confident that the viewers at home will not feel the restrictions one bit. That’s because our stories have always been small and intimate. So while how we shoot the show has completely changed, what we’re shooting has not.” – Gemma Baker.

“That was a choice that we made early on, that the shows will reflect life as we knew it, as we’ve known it, and hopefully as we’ll know it again. If we do shows that are reflective of what’s happening right now, it’s unlikely that they’ll have any value down the road. I’ve always been a big fan of shows that have shelf life, that have the ability to entertain the audience now, next year, or, God willing, years from now. I don’t know if it’s the right call, but it’s the call we made because I didn’t want to do episodes that a year from now no one wants to watch and may not want to watch now. Maybe you want to go home and watch a television show and have a little relief from social distancing and masks and the inability to hug your friends and loved ones. Maybe we can offer a respite from that.” – Chuck Lorre

Why do we need comedies like MOM more than ever right now?

“Laughter is a shared human experience. Laughter is a genuinely wonderful thing to have as part of our lives, especially when the world is upside down. It’s a gift.” – Chuck Lorre.

Season 8 of Mom Premieres Tonight at 9/8c on CBS. 

BINGE MIMI KENNEDY’S FAVORITE MOM SEASON 7 EPISODES

FROM CBS.COM

Posted on May 19, 2020 | 04:00pm

Season 7 of Mom has certainly delivered on hilarious situations with new relationships flourishing, squabbles galore, and all the ridiculous mishaps we’ve come to love from the perfectly flawed women of the show.

One of those ladies—and oft the voice of reason among the group—is Marjorie, played by Mimi Kennedy. Mimi weighed in with her favorite, most bingeable episodes of this latest season, and even added some delightful commentary and background information on just why she thinks these are the Season 7 episodes you need to watch.

So whether you’ve been watching all along and just want to rewatch with one of your favorite stars of the show (in spirit), or you’re new to Mom and looking for reasons to jump in, here are Mimi Kennedy’s five favorite Mom Season 7 episodes, available to stream now!

“Pork Butt And A Mall Walker” (Season 7, Episode 7)

In this episode, Bonnie (Allison Janney) and Adam (William Fichtner) go on a double date with Jill (Jaime Pressly) and her boyfriend, Andy (Will Sasso). Also, Tammy (Kristen Johnston) recruits Christy (Anna Faris) to mediate a sensitive roommate situation with Marjorie.

Why Mimi Loves It

“I love that [Marjorie and Tammy’s] relationship is volatile. Of course, it would be. Marjorie generously offers safe haven for Tammy to transition after prison, but she also has a lot of unspoken ‘rules’ in her house with her beloved cats!

Tammy has an up-close view of whether Marjorie can practice what she preaches, as a sponsor, in terms of forgiveness and resilience. In this episode, once Tammy realizes how much Marjorie needs her in order to meet the mortgage after Victor’s expensive medical bills, she steps right up, drops her complaints, and re-organizes her priorities.

This happens so often in recovery. Volatile Tammy and ‘rock’ Marjorie often find themselves in traded places—this is a great way to keep testing our commitment to honesty & forgiveness!”

WATCH: Season 7, Episode 7 Of Mom, “Pork Butt and a Mall Walker”

“Higgledy-Piggledy And A Cat Show” (Season 7, Episode 10)

The holidays don’t always bring out warm and fuzzy feelings. Bonnie feels the truth of that when she is forced to relive painful Christmas memories when Christy recounts tales from her childhood to Bonnie’s sponsee, Patty (Kate Micucci). Marjorie is there for her as she faces the feelings.

Why Mimi Loves It

“I love that quiet scene in [Bonnie’s] bedroom, where Marjorie shares with Bonnie that remorse over the past can overwhelm you at any unplanned moment. (On an airplane flight, she says, ‘I made my seatmates very uncomfortable.’)

Allison and I didn’t talk a lot, shooting it. It’s as if we were inhabited by all the people who’d ever felt this grief. The dialogue written for us was perfect for this to happen: spare, to-the-point, unexpectedly funny.

The final scene where Christy finds Bonnie in the [nativity scene] manger was brilliant and made more so by the choice Allison made impulsively to crawl into Mary’s lap. The writers wrote to it, once they saw her do it: ‘Just hangin’ out with Mary. She was a good mother.’ Stunning.”

WATCH: Season 7, Episode 10 Of Mom, “Higgledy-Piggledy And A Cat Show”

“Silly Frills And A Depressed Garden Gnome” (Season 7, Episode 12)

In a huge moment for Marjorie, Christy and Bonnie support her as she attempts to reconnect with her estranged son. Also, Tammy sees another side of Jill while working as her employee.

Why Mimi Loves It

“[This milestone for Marjorie is] amazing. New life is the hope of the world, and here is Marjorie, realizing there is a baby in the world that has come to her son despite her own mistakes as a mother.

I’m a grandmother myself, and having a chance to witness and interact with the joy and hope (and difficulties—teething, fear, not being able to accomplish things you want to do) of a baby all over again is a gift that cannot be equaled.

When [Marjorie’s] son is proud of her—and calls her ‘Mom’—I know what it’s like to hear my children call me that term of endearment with pride and tenderness. It brought tears to my eyes in the scene, of course.”

WATCH: Season 7, Episode 12 Of Mom, “Silly Frills And A Depressed Garden Gnome”

“A Judgy Face And Your Grandma’s Drawers” (Season 7, Episode 18)

Marjorie’s relationship with her son levels up when he asks her to babysit her granddaughter alone. Of course, Marjorie is never truly alone, and when an emergency strikes her group of gal pals are there to tap in on babysitting duties, to hilarious results.

Why Mimi Loves It

“[My favorite part of this episode’s storyline is] that every single one of the group steps up to do their best babysitting. Jill’s sorrow over not having a child of her own is heartbreaking; Christy’s tissue-play, once she realizes it, makes the baby laugh and is hysterically funny physical schtick from Anna, whose gifts as a physical comedienne are a superpower she shares with Allison.

We learn that Wendy (Beth Hall), the nurse, can’t handle babies! (What’s that about?) And Allison’s endlessly inventive stuff in the locked-car scene—brilliant. We wove together a brilliant tapestry of physical comedy and heart on this one!”

WATCH: Season 7, Episode 18 Of Mom, “A Judgy Face And Your Grandma’s Drawers”

“Texas Pete And A Parking Lot Carnival” (Season 7, Episode 19)

Bonnie worries about her therapist, Trevor (Rainn Wilson), when his life hits a serious rough patch. Also, Christy comes to Marjorie’s aid when she has trouble adjusting to a new job.

Why Mimi Loves It

“I sure do [relate to Marjorie’s new job struggles in this episode]. I went into the workforce as a typist. I trained at Katherine Gibbs Secretarial summer school—a relic of the midcentury, though I attended in the ’70s, when we still trained on typewriters, (since there were few workspaces on computers).

I had to have typing jobs while I studied acting and auditioned for non-paying plays. I was hired by one boss because he was impressed I went to Smith College and thought I would prove brilliant. Instead, I was terrible about phone messages and a million other things I hadn’t studied at typing school. I overheard him complain to someone that I was ‘the dumbest (expletive) human being on the face of the Earth.’

Or, [there was also when I served] as an ice-cream place waitress and I upended a chocolate sundae in a diner’s lap. Yup, I know workplace struggle!”

WATCH: Season 7, Episode 19 Of Mom, “Texas Pete And A Parking Lot Carnival”

Take Mimi’s advice and stream these five episodes of Mom Season 7—and every other Season 7 episode—on CBS All Access!