A Christmas Carol Returns to Hedgerow for the 23rd Year
Hedgerow Theatre continues its holiday tradition with its 23rd annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, which runs from December 4 to 27, with a world-premiere adaptation written by Artistic Director Jared Reed.
Reed reassures audiences that there will be no major changes to the production, which 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. “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.”
Hedgerow had previously used the version by playwright Nagle Jackson, which he created for the Milwaukee Repertory Company and McCarter Theatre in Princeton. “It’s a fantastic adaptation,” Reed said, “but his script had certain limitations for us since it was designed for those groups. 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. There are some passages and jokes Nagle chose to cut that I’ve put back in, but we’re still using Dickens’ words just as Nagle did. The dialogue is all true to the original, and the cast will still sing Christmas carols throughout the show.”
Reed also pointed out that he wanted a script that could be used for both of the two very different forms of the show done at Hedgerow. “We do a lot of daytime tours of the play for school groups,” he explained. “Many of the community members who have taken part for years aren’t available during the day since the adults have jobs and the children are in school, so those are performed by our core company with a cast sometimes as small as eight. Our evening shows have huge multigenerational casts as large as 60, so I wanted a script that could fit both of those needs and please our audiences. I’m also directing this year, so I make changes if needed without having to wait for the playwright’s approval.”
One change in this year’s production is the use of puppets to play the ghosts to add what Reed described as an “otherworldly feel.” “The one thing that never changes,” Reed added, “is that our 1840s grist-mill theatre is still the perfect period-appropriate setting for Dickens’ 1843 story.”
Because of the 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 for Friday, Saturday evening and Sunday shows are $34; Monday through Thursday and Saturday twilight shows are $29. There is a $3 discount for seniors. Tickets for those 30 and under are $20 and $15 for students with valid ID. For groups of 10 or more, tickets are $18. Members can purchase half-price tickets for all shows. 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).