CINCINNATI PLAYHOUSE IN THE PARK AND U.S. BANK PRESENT THE BELOVED HOLIDAY CLASSIC
A CHRISTMAS CAROL, NOV. 26 TO DEC. 28
(CINCINNATI) — Three holiday spirits — Christmas Past, Present and Future — conspire to redeem a miserly humbug at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as U.S. Bank presents Charles Dickens’ iconic holiday story, A CHRISTMAS CAROL. The beloved tale, enjoyed each season by multiple generations of Cincinnatians, will be performed for its 24th year in the Playhouse’s Robert S. Marx Theatre from Nov. 26 through Dec. 28.
Dickens, considered to be one of the greatest writers of all time, wrote the instantly successful A CHRISTMAS CAROL in 1843. His most popular work among a prolific output of classics, A CHRISTMAS CAROL is credited for revitalizing the celebration of Christmas as we know it today. So renowned is the story in popular culture that the central character’s name has become a synonym for a mean, tight-fisted person. A CHRISTMAS CAROL has also inspired countless television, film and stage adaptations — in male, female and even cartoon forms.
The Playhouse’s version of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, adapted by Howard Dallin, brings Dickens’ narrative to vivid life with spectacular effects that illuminate Ebenezer Scrooge’s time-traveling journey with the spirits one magical Christmas Eve. From his kind-hearted sister Fan and first love Belle to his generous employer Fezziwig and humble clerk Bob Cratchit, Scrooge is repeatedly shown the saving grace of love and concern for humanity. The heartwarming message of A CHRISTMAS CAROL helps to make it one of the Playhouse’s most popular productions each season and a perfect way to introduce children to the joys of theatre.
The cast of the 2014 production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features both new and returning actors. Bruce Cromer portrays Ebenezer Scrooge for the 10th time, adding to his tenure as the longest-running reformed humbug in Playhouse history. (Cromer previously portrayed long-suffering clerk Bob Cratchit for eight seasons.) Also returning are Craig Wesley Divino as Fred, Joy Farmer-Clary as Belle/Catherine Margaret, Ryan Wesley Gilreath as Bob Cratchit/Schoolmaster Oxlip, Dale Hodges as the Ghost of Christmas Past/Mrs. Peake, Kelly Mengelkoch as Mrs. Cratchit/Laundress, Gregory Procaccino as Jacob Marley/Old Joe, Nick Rose as Mr. Cupp/Percy/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Stephen Skiles as Mr. Sosser/Topper/Man with Shoe Shine/Guest at Fezziwig’s. Jared Joplin, who portrayed Young and Mature Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Past in the 2004 production (opposite his father, Joneal Joplin, as Ebenezer Scrooge), returns to the role this season. New to A CHRISTMAS CAROL this season are popular Cincinnati actor Annie Fitzpatrick (most recently seen on the Marx Theatre stage as Lady Lucas/Mrs. Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice) as Mrs. Fezziwig/Patience and Douglas Rees (who appeared as Dr. John H. Watson in Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Suicide Club) as Mr. Fezziwig/Ghost of Christmas Present.
Members of the Playhouse’s Bruce E. Coyle Acting Intern Company — Ollie Corchado, Jay Hobson, Alex Purcell, Christopher Michael Richardson, Laurie Roberts, Claire Simba, Kelsey Torstveit and D’Amante M. Wilson — will play carolers, party guests and others.
Nine Tristate children also appear in A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Returning are Tad Ehlers as Peter Cratchit/Gregory/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Joseph Forest Lennon Hamzy as Ignorance/Matthew/Rich Son at Fezziwig’s, Ty Joseph Shelton as Tiny Tim and Ethan Verderber as Boy Scrooge/Guest at Fezziwig’s/Bootblack. New to the production this year are Nathan E. Goodlett as George/Charles/Apprentice at Fezziwig’s, Delaney Ragusa as Martha Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Jordan Shaw as Want/Guest at Fezziwig’s, Kinley Brooke Shoemaker as Fan/Guest at Fezziwig’s and Livvy Stubenrauch as Belinda Cratchit/Guest at Fezziwig’s.
“It is a recurring joy to bring Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL to life every holiday season. To see the rapt expressions of thousands of children with their families as they are introduced to the wonders of live theatre at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park is a yearly gift,” says Michael Evan Haney, who is directing the production for the 22nd time. (Haney has been associated with A CHRISTMAS CAROL since its first year; he played the first Bob Cratchit for two seasons.)
The creative team for A CHRISTMAS CAROL includes James Leonard Joy (set designer), David Murin (costume designer), Kirk Bookman (lighting designer), David B. Smith (sound designer/composer), Steve O’Shea (lighting contractor), Cindy Witherspoon (costume coordinator), Rebecca N. Childs (music director) and Dee Anne Bryll (choreographer). The stage manager is Andrea L. Shell, and second stage managers are Becky Merold and Jenifer Morrow.
The production is sponsored by U.S. Bank. The design sponsor is Time Warner Cable Business Class. Artist sponsor/Ebenezer Scrooge is AAA and Provident Travel. Additional support is provided by The Stona Fitch Family.
All show times for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are at 2 p.m. for matinees and 7 p.m. for evening performances to accommodate families with children. Please note the earlier curtain time. There will be no performances on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and selected weekdays in early December. There is an added performance on Monday, Dec. 22.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is suitable for all general audiences, including children ages 5 and older. Due to the full-length nature of the show, children younger than 5 cannot be admitted.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $35. Prices are subject to change, and patrons are encouraged to buy early for the best seats at the best prices. Tickets for children, teenagers and students are $30 and $45. The official opening night is at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 28.
The production will be audio described for those with visual impairments at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6, and signed for persons with hearing impairments at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7. The Playhouse is fully accessible. Audio enhancement receivers, large print programs and complete wheelchair access are available.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL are on sale now. For ticket information, call the Playhouse Box Office at 513-421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800-582-3208) or visit http://www.cincyplay.com. Call 513-345-2248 for Telecommunications Device for the Deaf accessibility.
For the 19th year, the Playhouse will partner with the University of Cincinnati’s Hoxworth Blood Center for a blood drive on Saturday, Nov. 22, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Blood donors who attend the special event will receive vouchers good for half-price tickets to select performances of A CHRISTMAS CAROL and RING OF FIRE: THE MUSIC OF JOHNNY CASH. To schedule an appointment, visit www.hoxworth.org/groups/playhouse. Donation times are limited, so donors are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance. Questions may be directed to Hoxworth at 513-451-0910.
Spread the joy this holiday season by participating in the Playhouse’s Cratchit Family Food Drive for the Freestore Foodbank. Bring donations — non-perishable food or personal care items (no glass, please) — to the Playhouse during performances in November and December and place them in barrels located near the Box Office.
Characters from A CHRISTMAS CAROL, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati’s holiday production of SLEEPING BEAUTY, Cincinnati Ballet’s FRISCH’S PRESENTS THE NUTCRACKER and The Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati’s production of THE SNOW QUEEN will be spreading the holiday spirit at festive events throughout the Tristate this season. For a full listing of events, visit www.cincyplay.com.
The 2014-15 Marx Theatre Series is sponsored by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation, and the Robert S. Marx season design sponsor is Macy’s. The season sponsor of new work is The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Foundation.
The Playhouse is supported by the generosity of the community contributors to the ArtsWave campaign.
The Ohio Arts Council helps fund the Playhouse with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.
The Playhouse also receives funding from the Shubert Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.