Nine Performers Act Like the Dickens in Innovative Christmas Carol in NJ

News   Nine Performers Act Like the Dickens in Innovative Christmas Carol in NJ The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey presents the East Coast premiere of British playwright Neil Bartlett's nine-actor adaptation of A Christmas Carol starting Nov. 27 in Madison, NJ.

Inspired by the story by Charles Dickens, the Bartlett adaptation has been produced twice before in the U.S. The run continues to Dec. 31 at the F.M. Kirby Shakespeare Theatre in Madison, on the campus of Drew University.

Shakespeare Theatre's artistic director Bonnie J. Monte directs a cast of nine portraying more than 50 characters — "some unexpected, and many of those we have come to know and expect." This innovative take on A Christmas Carol features "an incredible landscape of actor-generated sound and song and provides a fantastic opportunity for families and people of all ages to experience this tale in a whole new way," according to the Equity troupe.

Monte stated, "I came across this wonderful new adaptation, and it made my director's pulse quicken. It's a director's dream with its infinite opportunities for inventiveness. …This adaptation of one of the world's most beloved holiday tales in an exciting style and vision that exemplifies our brand of artistry and artists."

Sherman Howard plays Ebenezer Scrooge. David Andrew MacDonald plays Marley's Ghost and the Ghost of Christmas Present. Tina Stafford plays Mrs. Cratchit and Mrs. Fezziwig. Greg Jackson plays Bob Cratchit. Steve Wilson plays nephew Fred and The Ghost of Christmas Future.

The troupe also includes Ames Adamson, Erin Partin, Betsy Jilka and Seamus Mulcahy. Bartlett's A Christmas Carol was originally created for the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, and contains only Dickens' own words. "I wanted to do it using Dickens' words, and nothing but," wrote Bartlett. "Dickens himself prompted this decision; after all, he wrote the story not just to be read, but to be read out loud, for an audience. His words don't describe; they enact."

Bartlett has included spoken and sung Victorian carols, delivered a capella, throughout the play.

The creative team includes set designer James Wolk, lighting designer Matthew Adelson, costume designer Karen Ledger and sound designer Richard M. Dionne. Musical direction is by Rick Knutsen, and the production stage manager is Josiane M. Lemieux.

For tickets or more information call (973) 408-5600 or visit www.ShakespeareNJ.org.