Launching PCPA’s 48th season is the inspiring holiday masterpiece, A Christmas Carol. This song-filled adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale reawakens the true spirit of Christmas in a heart-stirring Carol of profound beauty and redemption. It plays in the Marian Theatre November 10 – December 23, 2011. PCPA’s production of A Christmas Carol is adapted by Richard Hellesen with original music and lyrics by David De Berry and orchestrations by Gregg Coffin.

Under the direction of Mark Booher (who has directed this show three times previously), the cast includes resident artists Peter S. Hadres as the penny-pinching and miserly Scrooge, Evans Eden Jarnefeldt is Bob Cratchit, Michael Jenkinson is Fred, Erik Stein is Ghost of Christmas Present, Andrew Philpot is Fezziwig, Karen Hendricks is Mrs. Fezziwig, Elizabeth Stuart is Mrs. Cratchit, Quinn Mattfeld is Topper, and Kitty Balay is Ghost of Christmas Past. Young performers Melania Espinoza and Saige Gardner are double cast as Tiny Tim. Acting interns, students, and young performers fill out the remaining roles.

PCPA’s production features the scenic design by DeAnne Kennedy, costume design by Frederick P. Deeben, lighting design by Jennifer ‘Z’ Zornow, and sound design by Elisabeth Rebel. Musical Director is Callum Morris, Choreographer is Michael Jenkinson, Andrew Philpot is Vocal / Dialect Coach and Stage Managers are Christine Collins and Aleah Van Woert.

With a heart locked up tighter than a cash box, Scrooge must encounter the visits by three spirits for the chance to open up his heart and relish in the joys and aspirations of his fellow man. It is generally well known that the play ends with redemption amid the joy which the holiday season brings. As Dickens concluded upon Scrooge’s redemption, “…he became as good a friend, as good a master, and as good a man, as the good old city knew.” However, it begins with a visit from the ghost of his old partner Jacob Marley who shares his missteps in life, “Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!”

A Christmas Carol is primarily a ghost story set in a cold dark world filled with despair, misery, and death. In Dickens’ time, it’s estimated that nearly half of all funerals in London were for children under the age of ten and the average mortality age was 25. A Christmas Carol was first published in 1843, Dickens culled the story from personal childhood experiences along with various Christmas stories. The book is generally considered one of the greatest influences for the restoration of the Christmas holiday and it has never been out of print.

The story’s numerous adaptations include opera, ballet, radio plays, audio recordings, films and stage. In less than a year after the book was published as many as 12 theatrical productions were playing in London. Wikipedia lists 30 theatrical productions between 1974 and 2010, 22 films since 1901 and just as many TV adaptations, not counting the numerous pastiches performed on The Jetsons, The Odd Couple, WKRP in Cincinnati, Family Ties, Doctor Who, Barbie in a Christmas Carol, and more.

Famous Scrooges over the years have included Lionel Barrymore, Orson Welles, Basil Rathbone, Alec Guinness, Jonathan Winters, Charles Laughton, Tony Randall, Hal Linden, Roddy McDowell, and of course Patrick Stewart’s one-man show of A Christmas Carol which first opened in London in 1988.

Single Tickets go on sale October 12. For more information call the box office – (805) 922-8313 – between 12:30 and 7pm Wednesday through Sunday, or visit www.pcpa.org.

Information about Group Sales for 12 or more patrons may be obtained by contacting kstegall@pcpa.org or by calling 1-800-PCPA-123.

For the best seating, lowest prices, and exclusive privileges, become a season ticket holder. Subscription Packages start with as few as 4 plays, or see all 8 throughout the season for the ultimate theatre experience. Call the box office to receive a subscription brochure or email: boxoffice@pcpa.org.

Purchase a PCPA VIP Membership for $20.00 a month. Members are entitled to attend all mainstage productions as well as purchase additional rush tickets for $10 on day of performance ($11 in Solvang). VIP Members also receive invitations to special design presentations, student sharings and other events. Visit www.pcpa.org/vip for all the details.
(7-8-play subscribers receive all the VIP Membership privileges too).

Just the facts
What A Christmas Carol
When November 10 – December 23, 2011
Where Marian Theatre
800 S. College, Santa Maria
GPS – enter 1100 S. Bradley, Santa Maria, CA 93454
Times / Days Various – 1:30 and/or 7pm
Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday,
select Thursdays, and Tuesday, December 20.
Tickets $32.50 for adults
Discounts for Children, Students, Seniors,
and preview performances on November10 and 11.
Box Office (805) 922-8313
Internet www.pcpa.org
The Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts (PCPA) of Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria, California supports a unique, fully-accredited vocational training program for aspiring actors and theatre technicians. PCPA is the only training program of its kind offered by a community college in the United States.