For the 10th year in a row, Stage Coach Players will present the classic Charles Dickens tale “A Christmas Carol.”
This year’s production offers a new twist thanks to an adaptation written by director Amanda Smothers.
“This is the first show I’ve directed for Stage Coach. I thought it would be a different creative outlet. I’ve done assistant directing and costuming,” Smothers said. “I thought this would be a new challenge, and it has been a challenge.”
Her experience with the company also includes acting as Fiona in “Shrek,” Sarah in “Guys and Dolls” and the bride in “Father of the Bride.”
In “A Christmas Carol,” Ebenezer Scrooge (Denny Boynton) has lost his only friend, his business partner Jacob Marley (Norm Read). Seven years have passed since Marley’s Christmas death, and Scrooge has not changed a bit. He still refuses to give to the poor, suggesting that perhaps the only place better for them than prison might be the grave.
He still grudgingly gives his employee Christmas day off, and he still refuses his nephew’s invitation to Christmas dinner. He dismisses the whole day as “humbug.”
But, on this Christmas, his dreary home will be visited by spirits from Christmas Past (Isaiah Panke), Christmas Present (Kara Wilkins) and Christmas Yet to Come (Nick Slider). Through these visits, Scrooge will discover the true meaning of Christmas.
While the story itself is the one everyone knows, Smothers’ adaptation is unique.
“I framed it in the present day. The concept behind it is that I wanted to have a stationary set. I have a family reading ‘A Christmas Carol,’ and then they become the Cratchits,” Smothers said.
The challenges were many, she added.
“Among the biggest challenges were making concessions due to limitations of the budget and the availability of actors,” Smothers said.
She said she had to replace actors along the way, and the daily grind of being a director in general is pretty challenging.
“I also tried not to be too particular and hold on to my vision too tightly,” she said.
Several of the actors are new to Stage Coach this year.
“It’s great to have new people involved and hopefully they will be involved in future productions,” Smothers said.
Ticket sales have been going well, and she hopes all five shows will sell out as they have in previous years.
Smothers said this will be the last consecutive year that “A Christmas Carol” will be presented. Next season, Smothers said, the organization plans to stage “White Christmas.”
‘A Christmas Carol’
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 12 through 14 and 2 p.m. Dec. 14 and 15
Where: Stage Coach Theatre, 126 S. Fifth St., DeKalb
Tickets: Evening performances, $10 for adults, $5 for children; matinee performances, $5 for adults, $3 for children. Discount available for Saturday matinee performance with a new, unwrapped toy for Toys for Tots.
Tickets and more information: www.stagecoachers.com or 815-758-1940