Professional Theatre For Maine

Yule Love A CHRISTMAS CAROL at The Public Theatre!

Posted on 11/20/2009 12:00am

For one weekend only, Dec 11, 12, and 13th, The Public Theatre, Lewiston/Auburn's Professional Theatre will present their acclaimed adaptation of A Christmas Carol followed by Songs of the Season, a delightful program of sing-a-long holiday songs performed by Christmas Carol fiddler Jennifer Armstrong. The Public Theatre's original version of Dickens' classic has become a favorite holiday tradition in Lewiston/Auburn. This inventive adaptation, performed by six actors and a fiddler, was written for The Public Theatre by Artistic Director Christopher Schario in 1993, and is now regularly performed by various theatres around the world.

Considering the variety of versions being performed during the holiday season, this adaptation remains many people's favorite. "We stay true to the heart of the story, while at the same time rejuvenating this familiar tale with humor and imagination", says director and author Christopher Schario. Much of Dickens' original text is used, with six actors sharing narration, and portraying multiple characters with the aid of a simple hat, a cloak, a robe, etc. A live fiddler underscores the story with traditional Christmas music, and a hand-cranked wind machine and a thunder sheet create a delightfully theatrical atmosphere. This unique adaptation leaves the audience's imagination free to soar, and the story comes to life in a way you’ve never imagined.

Schario's version begins with a child reading a copy of the Dickens' novel. As the child reads, five actors and a fiddler magically appear and slowly coax the child into joining the story and becoming the character of Tiny Tim. It's a marvelous metaphor for the way literature grabs and transforms us, as well as an original way of illuminating this inspiring tale of human redemption.

Leading the cast of A Christmas Carol will be JT O'Connor as Scrooge. JT performed in the film, and is happy to be returning to The Public Theatre where he has appeared in such shows as The Nerd and Rough Crossing. New to the cast this season will be Lewiston native Maddy Leslie in the role of the child and Tiny Tim. We guarantee Maddy to be the cutest Tiny Tim you'll find anywhere this holiday season. Also new to the cast will be local actor Matt Delamater in the roles of Fred and jolly Christmas Present. Matt appeared at TPT in last season's production of The Last Mass at St. Casimir's and is looking forward to having a Dickens of a good time. Also, returning to the cast will be Sandra Blanley and Sheila Stasack. Fresh from their recent performances in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, they will join A Christmas Carol in the roles of Belle/Fan, and Mrs. Cratchit/The Ghost of Christmas Past. Also returning will be Russell Berrigan reviving his role as Marley/Bob Cratchit. Emily Karelitz will round out the cast as the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Returning as the fiddler will be acclaimed musician and storyteller Jennifer Armstrong. Jennifer brings her own special magic to A Christmas Carol and provides a glorious second act to the evening when she adds her banjo, harp, guitar, and bagpipe and performs her production of Songs of the Season, a wonderful mix of classic holiday songs and stories.

"This delightful double-feature of holiday shows makes a great present for the entire family," says Schario, "and with a top ticket price of only $18 for adults, $16 for students and seniors, and $10 for children under twelve, it's professional theatre at a price even Scrooge would love!" And remember, gift certificates for tickets for this production, or any play throughout the remainder of the season are available for the holidays!

A Christmas Carol and Songs of the Season will be performed on Friday, Dec 11th at 7 pm, Saturday, Dec 12th at 7 pm, and Sunday Dec 13th at 1 pm and 4 pm. For tickets call the Box Office at 782-3200. Tickets are also available for special student matinee performances Dec 8, 9, and 10th at 9:30 and 11:30am.