Banishing “Bah, Humbug!”

Falling snow, misty apparitions, and festive singing—Charles Dickens’s classic story of redemption came to life this Thanksgiving on the Dale Horton Auditorium stage. After fellowshipping and feasting, the audience gathered to celebrate the start of the Christmas season with A Christmas Carol Fine Arts.

When Dr. Charlene Monk undertook directing A Christmas Carol, she knew the cast, crew, and audience would be in for a real treat. She looked forward to directing the play because “Scrooge—like us—fails to see so much in everyday life,” she said. “Yet, unlike us, he gets a second chance to give of himself to others, and he experiences the joy that giving brings.”

Not only had it been over thirty years since A Christmas Carol was performed for Fine Arts, this particular adaptation by John Jakes had never been performed on campus. The playwright’s unique inclusion of the colorful Charles Dickens as narrator allowed the audience to hear descriptive passages from the novella that would have otherwise been left out of the stage play.

Played by performance studies faculty Dan Webb, Charles Dickens joined in scenes throughout the drama, playing the fiddle at Fezziwig’s Christmas party, conversing with characters on stage, and joining in Christmas caroling.

As Marley appeared from a gigantic fireplace and a foggy abyss from which the eerie Ghost of Christmas Future rose, thunder and smoke helped the audience feel a part of Scrooge’s journey.

Senior Trevor Wilkins (NY), who played Ebenezer Scrooge, said, “I wanted the audience to take away the idea that Christmas is a special window of opportunity to make things right.” Trevor hoped the audience felt the gravity of Scrooge’s situation and would apply the lessons he learned to their own lives.

Each actor felt a special connection to the play and appreciated the opportunity to share its joyous message with the audience. Cory Von Eiff (Sr., NY), who played a variety of supporting characters, said, “We are all so blessed, but sometimes we can get too wrapped up in our celebrating to notice others. Christmas is a time of joy and thanksgiving, and we need to remember to share it with others!”

At the end of the production, the audience was reminded of this as they shared in Scrooge’s light heart. They laughed as snow literally fell on them and joined in as actors shook their hands and passed out candy canes. Ringing in the holiday season, the audience’s thunderous applause and standing ovation reiterated their hearts of appreciation this Christmas season.

Published 12/8/2016