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Scrooge pays a visit Saturday

Shown in a street scene from "A Christmas Carol," are (from left) Megan Lynch, Elena Christensen and Logan Greene. (Bulletin photo by Judy Spooner)

The Park High School Drama Department decided not to put on a fall play because of remodeling taking place in the auditorium in September. Out of that delay came a good idea that will benefit the public this holiday season.

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, opens this weekend, and will run through next weekend.

"Everybody knows the story and what to expect," said Beth Graves, who plays Christmas Present in the production. "They can sit back, relax and not have to work hard at discovering the plot."

"It's so familiar that it feels like we've already done the show another time," said Justin Cooke, who plays the Ghost of Jacob Marley.

In past years, there were four productions a year with the full-length fall play, chamber theater, One-Act Play competition and spring musical.

"A Christmas Carol" combines the fall play with chamber theater in that all student actors who want to can take part in chamber. All of the students who showed up for tryouts are part of this year's play, according to Denise Atkinson, one the three play director.

Another first is that Atkinson has three cohorts with Steve Estenson and Tim Hofmann. All have directed Park plays but this is the first time they have been together for one production, Estenson said.

"It was time for a change," he said. "It also gave us a chance, for the first time, to pool our expertise into one production and offer the community a show for everyone, young and old alike, so that going to the theater can truly be a family event."

Theatergoers will get a chance to try and fathom what has brought this man, Scrooge, to be so cantankerous about a time of the year so full of joy and celebration for so many others.

They will see him visited by four specters: the ghost of his departed partner, Jacob Marley, and the spirits of three Christmases, Past, Present and Yet-to-Come.

They will become re-acquainted with the familiar characters of Bob Cratchit, Fred (Scooge's nephew), Mr. Fezziwig, Scrooge's long-lost love interest Belle, and the iconic Tiny Tim, said Estenson.

The audience will discover what in Ebenezer's past made him such a "scrooge" and marvel at the transformation that results.

"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens, opens this week at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 6, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. The show will also be presented at 7 p.m., Dec. 12, and 13 and 1 p.m., Dec. 14. An American Sign Language interpreter will be available at the 7 p.m. show on Dec. 13.

For tickets call (651) 768-5706 or e-mail

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600