Dickens Classic Could Have Local Ghostly Ties

Posted on 11/25/2013 9:19:06 AM

Theater-by-the-Grove at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will present Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol. The production will run Tuesday–Saturday, December 3–7, 2013, at 8:00 p.m. A matinee will be offered on Sunday, December 8, at 2:00 p.m. Performances will be presented on the Waller Hall Mainstage of the IUP Performing Arts Center.

In an adaption by former theater professor Ed Simpson and directed by department chair Brian Jones. A Christmas Carol provides a variety of imaginative elements to this popular family story.

The cast has been rehearsing since September to create these characters and imagine how they relate to the central characters, Scrooge and Bob Cratchit.  It is a classic tale revolving around the redemption of Scooge’s soul—a Christmas gift from his deceased business partner, Jacob Marley.

When asked about the number and variety of roles in the original novel, Jones stated,  “We’ve imagined the ensemble of 16 players who perform over 30 roles to be a cross-section of people in Dickens’s London. They represent all the various social classes who were drawn to the story when it ran in the London newspapers in 1843.

The Cratchit Family from A Christmas Carol“I’ve asked the company to examine the difference between Scrooge’s and Cratchit’s relationship with mortality,” commented Jones.  “Through Cratchit’s reaction to Tiny Tim’s death, foretold by the Spirit of Christmas Yet to Come, we see how love and compassion for humanity triumph.”

The skills of local puppeteer James Lydick are put to good use in this production as well.  Many of the characters are performed through the use of large puppets, with the spirits also represented by Lydick’s creations.

In a local connection to the story, it is interesting to note that Dickens traveled to Pittsburgh to visit the Western Penitentiary at about the time A Christmas Carol was written. Dickens was notoriously interested in spirits and the afterlife, and the penitentiary was notoriously haunted. Therefore, one might conclude that the “uneasy spirits” who appear and haunt Scrooge must be somehow connected to our region through Dickens’s imagination.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are available now at the Hadley Union Building, located on Pratt Drive of the IUP campus, or by calling the HUB Ticket Office at 724-357-1313. Tickets are also available at anytime online at IUP Tickets. Any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting 45 minutes before curtain.

Tickets are priced at $14 for regular admission, $12 for senior citizens and groups of 15 or more, and $9 with a university I-Card.

For more information, contact the Lively Arts at 724-357-2547 or e-mail lively-arts@iup.edu.

Theater-by-the-Grove is produced by the Department of Theater and Dance and the College of Fine Arts. It is funded, in part, by the IUP Student Cooperative Association.

Scene from A Christmas Carol

Theater by the Grove

A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

December 3, 2013
December 7, 2013
8:00 p.m.

December 8, 2013
2:00 p.m.

Waller Hall Mainstage, IUP Performing Arts Center

Charles Dickens’ classic tale of redemption, told with magical wonder by the many characters of Dicken’s London just in time for the holidays. Puppetry and spectacle abound in this fast-paced rendition that surprises at every turn.

This event is over.

For more information, visit A Christmas Carol, e-mail , or call 724-357-2787.