You may think you know the Charles Dickens classic holiday ghost story, A Christmas Carol, but Pentacle Theatre’s upcoming production promises to be a gem of its own.
“Dickens’ tale originally was inspired by Victorian Christmas Eve ghost stories,” said Jeff Sanders, the show’s director. “Dickens’ story is about how none of us asks to be here on this Earth, and shows how we have to take care of each other while we are.”
Dramatized with flair and wit in a version first performed by The Royal Shakespeare Company, this adaptation of the ageless story captures Dickens’ ironic point of view while it creates a panoramic picture of Victorian London. A cast of 33 actors performing multiple roles of more than 60 characters in this classic holiday tale.
Playing the eponymous Ebenezer Scrooge is Pentacle Theater favorite Tom Hewitt. Joining Hewitt are 32 other actors — ranging from adults to kids — who play multiple roles, moving seamlessly through Victorian London.
“It’s a very fluid production that moves quickly,” Sanders added. There are no blackouts, and the cast of characters shift and change seamlessly from one scene to the next.
“A Christmas Carol is a cautionary tale about my favorite season of the year—Christmastime, said Sanders. Dickens tells a ghostly story of Scrooge’s redemption and change, and the birth of humanity and wisdom out of the darkness of winter, he said.
Sanders includes period music and dancing in the show—although he’s quick to say A Christmas Carol is not a musical. “Adding the period music was inspired when I heard the Victorian holiday song, To Drive the Cold Winter Away,” Sanders said. “We hope to do that for our audience by banishing the cold ghosts of winter.”
Also appearing in the show are Amy Amato, Ian Barth, Christine Bodnovits, Lana Buckholz, Maggie Dayton, Emma Doughman, Holly Giesbrecht, Walt Haight, Ian Hathaway, Robert Henry, Janet Henry, Franca Hernandez, Zoey Hock, Mike Jaffe, Justin King, Kate King, Samantha King, Theo King, Emily Loberg, Todd Logan, David MacDonald, Jordan Mackor, Jenn Meyers, Sean Nickerson, Lars Olsen, Eric Olsen, Hannah Alice Patterson, Lauren Stenerson, Kate Thomas, Soren Urban, Diane Vincent and Simon Watson as Tiny Tim.
WHAT: A Christmas Carol, from the classic story by Charles Dickens and adapted by John Mortimer for The Royal Shakespeare Company. Directed by Jeff Sanders, and assistant directed by Geri Sanders and Teresa Waite.
A free preview for student will be ASL interpreted on Nov. 9. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHEN AND WHERE: A Christmas Carol runs from Friday, Nov. 10, through Saturday, Dec. 2, at Pentacle Theatre, 324 52nd Ave. NW, off Highway 22 about 6 miles west of downtown Salem.
SPONSORED BY: A Christmas Carol is generously sponsored by OregonWest Excursions.
TICKETS: Tickets cost $23 for weekday performances and $24 for weekend shows. Seniors, students, active military and Pentacle Theatre members receive a $1.50 discount. There is an additional $1 fee on opening night for the catered post-show party.
- Advance tickets are available at Pentacle’s downtown Salem ticket office at 145 Liberty St. NE or by calling 503-485-4300 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, or anytime online at pentacletheatre.org.
- Tickets for low-income persons: In partnership with Salem for All, Pentacle Theatre offers half-price tickets to Oregon Trail Card holders. For information, go to salemforall.org.
CONTENT ADVISORY: Pentacle Theatre seeks to inform our patrons about content that may be objectionable. Because tastes vary—and what is offensive can be subjective—we encourage you to read the script before purchasing a ticket if you’re concerned.
- A Christmas Carol is recommended for elementary school and older audiences who are not afraid of Christmas ghosts or crochety old men.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact the Pentacle Theatre office at 503-485-4300.