An Original Experience Fueled with Tastes of Christmas Past

Hedgerow Theatre continues its holiday tradition with its 25th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which runs from November 24 to December 24, with Artistic Director Jared Reed at the helm.

A miserly old man named Ebenezer Scrooge sits in his counting-house on Christmas Eve. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, shivers in the anteroom because Scrooge refuses to spend money on heating coals for a fire. Later that evening, after returning to his dark, cold apartment, Scrooge receives a chilling visit from the ghost of his dead partner, Jacob Marley. Marley, looking haggard and pallid, relates his unfortunate story. As punishment for his greedy and self-serving life, his spirit has been condemned to wander the Earth weighted down with heavy chains. Marley informs Scrooge that three spirits will visit him during each of the next three nights. After the wraith disappears, Scrooge collapses into a deep sleep.

Reed has directed the production for the previous two seasons, as well as serving as adaptor and designer. His adaptation remains faithful to Dickens’ tale of the redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge, a miserable, selfish miser whose heart is transformed after he is visited by a series of spirits on Christmas Eve.

“I began to revisit it after I did my one-man show based on Dickens’ reading version, so I decided to to go back to the source material. The dialogue is all true to the original, and the cast will still sing Christmas carols throughout the show.”

Scrooge wakes moments before the arrival of the Ghost of Christmas Past, a strange childlike phantom with a brightly glowing head. The spirit escorts Scrooge on a journey into the past to previous Christmases from the curmudgeon’s earlier years. The Ghost of Christmas Present, a majestic giant clad in a green fur robe, takes Scrooge through London to unveil Christmas as it will happen that year.The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man’s recent death.

“The set and basic story will all be familiar,” he confirmed “because it’s a classic just as it is. It isn’t a rewrite, per se, just a script that better suits our company.”

After pleading with the ghost, Scrooge finds himself in a churchyard, the spirit pointing to a grave. Scrooge looks at the headstone and is shocked to read his own name. He desperately implores the spirit to alter his fate, promising to renounce his insensitive, avaricious ways and to honor Christmas with all his heart when he suddenly finds himself safely tucked in his bed. Overwhelmed with joy by the chance to redeem himself and grateful that he has been returned to Christmas Day, Scrooge rushes out onto the street hoping to share his newfound Christmas spirit.

Because of a large number of performances, there are teams of actors to accommodate their schedules and to allow them to play different parts to enhance their experience. Scrooge will be portrayed in all shows by Hedgerow veteran and perennial favorite Zoran Kovcic.

There are still a few dates available to book special performances for schools or other groups. To arrange a time, contact Group Sales Director Art Hunter at 610-565-4211.

Adult ticket prices are $35, with a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those ages 30 and under, as well as for students, are $20. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Prices include all fees and are subject to change. For reservations or more info, call 610-565-4211 or visit www.HedgerowTheatre.org. Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley Road in Rose Valley (near Media).