It’s said that there are no new stories, just new ways of telling them. That can even be said of a popular Christmas story, Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol.” It’s the story of bitter and miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his ideological, ethical, and emotional transformation resulting from supernatural visits by Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Yet to Come. Dickens mined his own childhood for the story but he also called on various Christmas stories and fairy tales that were familiar to his Victorian-era readers.
Since its original publication the story has been retold in many different forms including film, opera, ballet, a Broadway musical, a pantomime and an orchestral composition. Other authors including Louisa May Alcott and Horatio Alger wrote “spin-offs.” as did Dickens himself. It was adapted for the stage almost immediately. It was even pirated by another publisher whom Dickens sued. Dickens won the suit but failed to collect and then had to pay legal costs out of his own pocket.
The Port Aransas Community Theater is offering yet another take on the popular story. The stage presentation “Ebby Scrooge” offers yet another telling of Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” story, this time with a very modern twist. Restaurant owner Ebby Scrooge is as mean and greedy as her distant relative, Dickens’s Ebenezer. There’s also a long-suffering employee in the form of Mrs. Cratchit, and Ebby’s dead partner Marla who comes to haunt her.
Salle Ellis of Bandera, a long-time community theater participant who has been involved in various theaters and productions for many years, is the director.
The cast Includes Pam Henderson as Ebby Scrooge; Victoria Stiewig as Roberta Crachet; Rick Adams as John Crachet; Marion Fersing and Kelly Stringer as the “Sisters of Suffering Charity,” D.C. Cooper and Jim Rafferty as the Ghosts of Christmas Past And Christmas Future, along with Peggy Srader, costumed out in forks and spoons, as Marla, the Ghost of Ebby’s old business partner. Young thespians are also in the cast as carolers.
The play will hit the boards on Dec. 5, 6, and 7 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 2:30 p.m. at the Port Aransas Community Theater. Prices are $7.00 for adults and $5.00 for children.
I’m especially looking forward to it because I know it’s the theatrical debut for D. C. “Chip” Cooper who’s playing the Ghost of Christmas Past. It’s exciting when anyone has a “first.” I think it takes a lot of gumption to exercise untested muscles live in front of an audience, so don’t be surprised if I stand up and start a wave.
For more information about The Port Aransas Community Theater and all its productions visit the Web site at http://portaransascommunitytheatre.com/. Call 361-749-6036 or stop by 2327 State Highway 361. I’ll see you there.