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A Christmas Carol to Play at PHC

November 17th, 2010

By Carissa Davis

CONTACT:  David Halbrook
Patrick Henry College
(540) 441-8722

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Halloween is over, and the stores are gearing up for Christmas. Candy canes and eggnog are available in supermarkets, and Christmas carols can be heard over the radio. Soon snow will fall and Christmas trees will appear in cozy windows.

Patrick Henry College is also preparing for the Christmas season. In Town Hall, wooden scaffolding and stage extensions have changed the look of the usually dignified chapel services. It is all in preparation for  Eden Troupe’s Fall 2010 play featuring redemption, hope and truth: Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol," due to run November 30 through December 3, at 7:30pm the first three nights and at 8:30pm on Friday, December 3.

“A Christmas Carol is classic,” said Elizabeth Dalla Betta, assistant director. “It is both drama and comedy. The themes of new life and finding joy are universal for all ages.”

The play is a perfect choice for Eden Troupe, whose goal is to “seek to glorify God through the production of plays that communicate truth and beauty.”

“A Christmas Carol reflects the story of Christmas perfectly,” said Stephanie McGill, director and PHC junior. “It tells the story of bitterness turned into joy, of a chance given, a chance taken. Joy was waiting for Scrooge as soon as turned away from his old life.”

Written in 1843, “A Christmas Carol” tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a rude, miserly old man who seems to care for no one and nothing but his own money.  At Christmastime, he never joins in merry-making but instead sits in his cold counting-house. He refuses to give his clerk extra time off for Christmas, to give anything to charity or even to attend his nephew’s Christmas party. On Christmas Eve, he is visited by three ghosts who lead him through scenes of his past, the present, and events which are to come. The visits transform Scrooge from a wretched miser into a redeemed man.

The play is directed by McGill and Dalla Betta. Erin Pradia, senior, is the producer, and sophomore Ben Svendson plays the lead role of Ebenezer Scrooge. 

“The cast has been amazing - Svendson does an admirable job of transforming and embittered Scrooge into a redeemed man. The cast portrays Dickens' characters with the flair and color intended,” McGill said.

Junior Erik Landstrom serves as the Music Director. He is arranging traditional Christmas carols to comprise an original musical score.

McGill and Dalla Betta are trying some new staging for this production. “I’m not using Town Hall as it is,” McGill said. Construction has begun to build a new stage with a “thrust” style that extends closer to the audience. In addition, McGill plans to use a new seating arrangement unlike any previous Eden Troupe performance.

The play will be performed in PHC’s Town Hall. It opens on Tuesday, November 30, at 7:30 pm and will show Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday evenings as well. Tickets are on sale in the PHC bookstore for $8.00 each, with discounts available for children, students, school groups, and PHC and HSLDA affiliates.

 “It's Christmas time. Forget the Christmas movie's we've all watched a hundred times; this timeless tale from Dickens tops them all,” McGill said. “A Christmas Carol is timeless because it reflects the true meaning of Christmas. We all need a chance for redemption that is offered to Scrooge, and the joy that proceeds when this chance is accepted.”

Dalla Betta encourages all to attend this production of the Christmas classic.

“Why the 'Dickens' would you not want to?”

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