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The Story of Ebenezer Scrooge begins Nov. 24

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. Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, pays his uncle a visit and invites him to his annual Christmas party. Scrooge spits the now infamous, “Bah!Humbug!” in response to his nephew’s “Merry Christmas!”

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.

He 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. Invisible to those he watches, Scrooge revisits his childhood school days, his apprenticeship with a jolly merchant named Fezziwig, and his engagement to Belle, a woman who leaves Scrooge because his lust for money eclipses his ability to love another. Scrooge, deeply moved, sheds tears of regret before the phantom returns him to his bed.

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. Scrooge watches the large, bustling Cratchit family prepare a miniature feast in their meager home. He discovers Bob Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim, a courageous boy whose kindness and humility warms Scrooge’s heart. The specter then zips Scrooge to his nephew’s to witness the Christmas party. Toward the end of the day, he shows Scrooge two starved children, Ignorance and Want, living under his coat. He vanishes instantly as Scrooge notices a dark, hooded figure coming toward him.

The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come leads Scrooge through a sequence of mysterious scenes relating to an unnamed man’s recent death. Scrooge sees businessmen discussing the dead man’s riches, some vagabonds trading his personal effects for cash, and a poor couple expressing relief at the death of their unforgiving creditor. Scrooge, anxious to learn the lesson of his latest visitor, begs to know the name of the dead man. 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. He sends a giant Christmas turkey to the Cratchit house and attends Fred’s party. As the years go by, he holds true to his promise and honors Christmas with all his heart.

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).

25th Annual Christmas Carol Begins November 24

Carve up the turkey, plan those online shopping deals, and get ready for the most magical time of the year at Hedgerow Theatre. On November 24, Hedgerow Theatre kicks off its 25th annual Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

“A Christmas Carol is a timeless story of the redemption of a man to his better self – we choose to shut ourselves off from our humanity, and we can choose to embrace it,” said adaptor and director Jared Reed.

Professional Actors are joined by over 32 members of our community to make Hedgerow Theatre’s Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol a part of the Holidays you cannot miss. Decked with all your favorite Christmas carols, in our 1800s grist mill theatre, the Hedgerow experience is one that you will never forget.

“Hedgerow has a long history of performing Dickens – 25 years of A Christmas Carol, and numerous productions of his other stories such as Oliver – and the theatre itself, an 1840’s grist mill, is perfect for Dickens and creating a Victorian London.”

Dickens’ story was first published in London on December 19,1843 and the first edition sold out by Christmas Eve. A Christmas Carol tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser, who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

Dickens captured the zeitgeist of the mid-Victorian revival of the Christmas holiday. He  influenced the modern Western observance of Christmas and inspired several aspects of Christmas, such as family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit.

“Hedgerow prides itself on telling great stories. We have been bringing people together to share in the power of an ensemble troupe of actors performing for an engaged audience since 1923.  A Christmas Carol is who we strive to be all year round.”

Relive the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge, laugh with all the Cratchits, and journey through space and time with the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come as merriment and mirth fill your heart with joy.

The first performance of A Christmas Carol is Friday, November 24, at 7:30 p.m. There will be Wednesday matinees on December 13 and 20, at 2 p.m., as well as special performances Monday 18, Tuesday 19, and Wednesday 20 at 7:30 p.m.

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).