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UNUSUAL VERSION OF “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” OPENS @ STNJ THIS WEEKEND
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Adapted by Neil Bartlett Directed by Brian B. Crowe
WHEN: December 4 – December 29, 2019 WHERE: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre, 36 Madison Avenue (at Lancaster Road), Madison, New Jersey,(located on Drew University’s campus) TICKETS: $59. The Theatre is proud to continue its 30 UNDER 30 program which provides patrons age 30 and under with tickets for only $30 with a valid ID. For tickets and information: Call 973-408-5600 or visit ShakespeareNJ.org.
The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey (STNJ) concludes its 57th season with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett and directed by longtime company member Brian B. Crowe.
Neil Bartlett’s unusual adaptation of A Christmas Carol has not been performed on the STNJ Main Stage since 2011, when it was met with acclaim from audience members and critics alike. The New York Times raved about the 2011 production, declaring “Neil Bartlett’s ingenious adaptation” “stylized, stylish and truly touching.”
This version of A Christmas Carol uses a small ensemble of actors to bring an abundance of characters to life, animate and inanimate, from the merry Fezziwigs to Scrooge’s complaining lightbulb. Bartlett uses this intimate, all-hands-on-deck approach to the novella because, as he writes in his introduction to the script, “[Dickens] wrote the story not just to be read, but to be read out loud, for an audience. His words don’t describe; they enact.”
This production embraces Scrooge’s final redemption, but does not run away from the trials he must endure and the inner darkness he must encounter in order to get there. Director Brian B. Crowe commented, “Scrooge’s journey to redemption is a deeply uneasy one, but it is made all the more rewarding, bright, and joyous because of the dark paths which he must travel to get there. Helping others and letting others in is a frightening proposition for Scrooge - scary…until it isn’t; when he is able to see that, mankind becomes his business.
The Shakespeare Theatre is delighted to welcome back a cast made up almost entirely of popular company veterans. Leading the cast as Ebeneezer Scrooge is Ames Adamson, in his 17th season with STNJ and last seen in 2018 as both the affable Dr. Bradman in Blithe Spirit and as Old Shepherd in The Winter’s Tale. Joining Mr. Adamson are Clark Scott Carmichael (Bob Cratchit), Garrett Lawson (Fred), Quentin McCuiston (Ghost of Christmas Past/Tiny Tim), Emma O’Donnell (Mrs. Cratchit), Lindsay Smiling (Marley’s Ghost/Ghost of Christmas Present), Raphael Nash Thompson (Mr. Fezziwig), Emily Walton (Fred’s Wife), Alison Weller (Mrs. Fezziwig) and Billie Wyatt (Belle).
The design team includes scenic design by Dick Block; costume design by Summer Lee Jack; lighting design by Andrew Hungerford and sound design by Steven L. Beckel. The Production Stage Manager is Denise Carderelli.
For the same price as a regular ticket, the Symposium Series performances offer a post-show discussion with the cast and a member of the artistic staff. For this production, symposia will be held following the performances on Tuesday, December 10 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, December 14 at 2:00 p.m and Saturday, December 21 at 2:00 p.m.
The Know the Show pre-show talks are offered free-of-cost. Prior to the show, an artist from The Shakespeare Theatre presents a pre-performance talk providing background information and an inside perspective on the production. This program is free with the purchase of a performance ticket and will be held on Thursday, December 12 at 7:00 p.m., with the show beginning at 8:00 p.m.
The Shakespeare Theatre is proud to continue their Captioned Performances for the 2019 season. For patrons wishing to view captions of the dialogue and sound effects, the Captioned Performance for Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol will be held on Thursday, December 12 at 8:00 p.m. Captions are transmitted to the patrons’ web-enabled smart device via the Internet. Staff will be available prior to the beginning of the show and during the intermission to assist patrons.
Patrons with visual challenges can hear live descriptions of the action by attending the Audio-Described performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Thursday, December 19 at 8:00 p.m. Pre-performance sensory webinars are available upon request and allow patrons to handle props, costumes and set pieces prior to the show.