The classic Charles Dickens tale, “A Christmas Carol,” will be returning to the Valley Center Stage in North Bend, beginning on Friday, Dec. 1.
“A Christmas Carol” has become somewhat of a Valley Center Stage tradition during the holiday season. Directors of this year’s production, Brenden and Wynter Elwood, said that the classic story really captures the theme and moral of the holiday spirit.
“Even though you know the story, you still want to check in with these characters just like your own family at the holiday time of year,” Brenden said. “‘A Christmas Carol’ epitomizes the Christmas spirit. No matter how your year played out, there is something about Christmas that makes all of it a bit better. Watching a character like Scrooge transform live, gives us hope; it inspires us to change — whether that change means being a bit nicer to people, embracing a charity, feeling thankful for what you have, or making a big life shift; A Christmas Carol illustrates that anyone can change and it’s never too late for that change to occur.”
This is the 10th time the Valley Center Stage will produce the play, but it is also the most requested holiday story, Wynter said.
This version of the play will be slightly different from past performances, the directors said.
Instead of following up Valley Center Stage founder Gary Schwartz’s “story theater” style of production that was performed in 2016, the production will be an adaptation of the original story by the directors.
“This production will be different than years’ past. One reason for this, is we recognized that it may be near impossible for us to follow in the footsteps of Gary Schwartz’s legacy… His style and approach is exciting and unique to his talents. So, we decided to change things up by adapting the story for the stage ourselves, adding in different scenes, slightly different setting, and casting a lot of new talented actors,” Brenden said.
“While our hope is to bring some new interesting touches to this classic play, our intent is to stick to the story Dickens’ wrote, so it comes to life just as it does when you sit down to read the story. We are striving for a vintage feel with a few twists.”
The production will feature 21 actors bringing the story to life. Wynter said working with the large cast of varying ages, style and skill is one of the things she loves about community theater.
“To watch an actor in their first production, knowing all they do to get themselves up there, to rise to the occasion, and play a part on stage is exciting. It’s also equally exciting to watch seasoned actors do something new and fresh, especially with very familiar characters,” she said. “Along with this, we are always impressed and humbled by all the volunteers who jump in to bring a production to life… It is a beautiful thing to be a part of such community of people committed to bringing art to life. It’s magical and when it’s a timeless Christmas classic… it’s simply special.”
Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m., on Friday, Dec. 1, and will continue each weekend until Sunday, Dec. 17. For the full schedule and to buy tickets, visit valleycenterstage.org.