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Nov. 21, 2008

ISU Theatre presents A Christmas Carol

by Paula Van Brocklin

A Christmas Carol

ISU Theatre presents the holiday classic, A Christmas Carol, Dec. 5-7 and 12-14 in Fisher Theater. The large cast of 46 comprises several children, including 6-year-old Max Nelson as Tiny Tim. ISU sophomore Bryce Larsen portrays Bob Cratchit. Photo by Patrick Gouran.

For some, the holidays would seem incomplete without enjoying a performance of A Christmas Carol. Never fear. ISU Theatre will stage multiple shows of this Christmas classic Dec. 5-7 and 12-14 in Fisher Theater.

Based upon the 1843 novel by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol chronicles the Christmas Eve adventure of hard-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge, seven years after the death of his business partner Jacob Marley. The evening begins with Scrooge begrudgingly allowing his loyal employee, Bob Cratchit, to not work Christmas Day. He then rebuffs an invitation from his nephew, Fred, to Christmas dinner, declaring "Bah! Humbug!" and also denies a request to share money with the poor. After leaving work, Scrooge arrives home, nestles into bed and endures unsettling visits from the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, who try to redeem him.

This is the sixth time ISU Theatre has performed A Christmas Carol. ISU's portrayal stays true to the original story, but features unique special effects, including fog, doors that spontaneously fly open, and people and tombstones rising through the stage floor.

Another unusual aspect of this play is that it features a large cast of 46 actors, 14 of whom are children from the community; the youngest is 4 years old.

"Because of all the different ages, there's a wide range of audience appeal," said Jane Cox, ISU Theatre chair and director of A Christmas Carol. "The students are having a great time working with the children."

ISU students play the lead roles. Junior Jeff Mason portrays Scrooge, sophomore Bryce Larsen is Cratchit and senior Michael Rubke is Marley. Junior Melanie Adam is the Ghost of Christmas Past, senior John Flotho is the Ghost of Christmas Present and senior Nick Juelsgaard plays the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Cox said this story is timeless, and offers something for everyone.

"As I tell the cast, probably 95 percent of people know the story, but the reason they come is to experience the life journey of Scrooge," Cox said. "All ages can relate in some way to the story."

A Christmas Carol will be performed Fridays and Saturdays, Dec. 5-6 and 12-13, at 7:30 p.m., along with matinee performances on Sundays, Dec. 7 and 14, at 2 p.m.

Cost is $14 for adults, $12 for senior citizens and $7 for students. Tickets can be purchased at the Iowa State Center Box Office, through Ticketmaster or by calling 233-1888.


A Christmas Carol

Dec. 5-6, 12-13 (7:30 p.m.)
Dec. 7, 14 (2 p.m.)
Fisher Theater
Tickets: $14, $12, $7