‘Are there no poor laws?’
Published 9:54 am Thursday, December 1, 2011
A show that opens tonight, full of traditional carols and actors of all ages, has all the right stuff to get people into the Christmas spirit.
Albert Lea Community Theatre presents “The Dickens Christmas Carol Show” starting at 7 p.m. tonight at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. The show is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens Christmas classic and is co-directed by Glen Parsons and Gordy Handeland. Parsons plays Ebenezer Scrooge, who’s on stage in most scenes, so it helped to have another director.
“It’s really a family show,” Parsons said. “We’re just really proud of the whole cast — we have a fun time together.”
Not only is the show appropriate for all ages, there are actors ranging from young to old in the show. Also, a few of the actors are related to others, which can be interesting.
One example is Ann Van Brocklin, who plays the second charitable woman, a caroler and a party guest. Her daughter, Grace, who plays Ignorance and an orphan, originally tried out for the play back in October. Ann came along, and decided to try out on a whim with friend, Jill Nelson. Both were cast in the play.
“I feel ready, but it’s live so you never know,” Ann said. “The directors are great — for not being a seasoned actress they make you feel like you do have something to offer.”
The directors both said they enjoyed having all ages cast in the show. They do have to teach some of the simpler things about theater to newcomers, but it’s all part of the fun.
“They learn from the people around them, too,” Handeland said.
Ann said her favorite part of the show is the party at the home of the Fezziwigs, where all the characters are singing and dancing. The directors agreed that the scene is a lively one the crowd will enjoy.
The show follows Ebenezer Scrooge on his journey with three Christmas spirits as he transforms from a cold, mean-spirited man to a generous man filled with holiday cheer. Parsons said the emotional journey he goes through is one of his favorite parts of playing Scrooge.
It isn’t a musical, but it is a play filled with music, Parsons said.
In addition to carolers signing between scenes, the children who play the orphans plan to sing in the lobby before each show. The show opens Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee showing Sunday. Other showings will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 7-10, all at the Marion Ross Performing Arts Center. “The Dickens Christmas Carol Show” lasts about two hours, with a 15-minute intermission.
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students. They may be purchased by logging on to www.actonbroadway.com or at the box office which opened Monday.
What: ACT’s production of “A Dickens Christmas Carol Show”
Where: Marion Ross Performing Arts Center
When: 7 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 7 p.m. Dec. 7-10
How much: $15 for adults and $10 for students
Who plays what?
Ebenezer Scrooge Glen Parsons
Bob Cratchit Ben Deines
Mrs. Cratchit Sophie Ehrhardt
Fred Bennison/caroler/party guest Matt Stoneking
Mary Bennison Aimee Chalmers
Peter Greenlaw Tim Engstrom
Caroline Greenlaw Samantha Klukow
Jacob Marley Brian Mattson
Boy on Christmas morning Ethan Lunning
Young Ebenezer/caroler/party guest Travis Nemec
Dick/caroler/party guest Sam Ehrhardt
Mr. Fezziwig/caroler/party guest Jay Paul
Emma Fezziwig/caroler/party guest Emily Miller
Tom Keddle Les Anderson
Belle Christopher/caroler/party guest Mariah Howe
Gerry Christopher Tyler Vandenhouvel
Ghost of Christmas Present/caroler/party guest Jason Howland
Ghost of Christmas Past Rebekah Sousa
Ghost of Christmas Future Sheri Nemec
Martha Cratchit Maddie Willey
Belinda Cratchit Grace Chalmers
Peter Cratchit Preston Smith
Robert Cratchit Ryan Nelson
Tim Cratchit Dane Brownlow
Emily Cratchit/caroler/party guest Charley Fleek
First Charitable Lady/caroler/party guest Jill Nelson
Second Charitable Lady/caroler/party guest Ann Van Brocklin
Joe Snatchly Al Jorgensen
Mrs. Dilber Nancy Lahs
Mrs. Gooley Kristan Dye
First Merchant/caroler/party guest Jody Ellertson
Second Merchant/caroler/party guest Kris Bartley
Ben Scrooge/orphan Logan Howe
Fanny Scrooge/orphan Jayna Finseth
Ignorance/orphan Grace Van Brocklin
Want Evy Christensen
Caroler/party guest Natalie Runden
Caroler/party guest Pam Schmidt
Caroler/party guest Karen Szymanowski
Caroler/party guest McKinzey Christian
Caroler/party guest Rhiannon Farr
Caroler/party guest Cassidy Daniel
Orphan Abigail Chalmers
Orphan Carson McGivern
Orphan Carine Rofshus
Orphan Aidan Beckmann
Orphan Katherine Sime
Orphan Khira Hacker