Charles Dickens’ holiday tale holds a special place in my heart for many reasons. My acting premiere in a big stage show was in a 1991 Community Players performance as Peter Cratchit in the Fred Fout directed A Christmas Carol at Old Main in Huntington. To say that play changed my life would not be an overstatement. And just eight years later, in Norfolk at Virginia Stage Company, my Ghost of Christmas Future came face to face with the great Jerome Kilty’s Ebenezer Scrooge, a most memorable experience in many wonderful ways and a pretty incredible sign of how far theatre took me in a relatively short span of time.
More often than not, though, I have been an audience member marveling at what I consider to be the greatest story ever told. It’s a magical tale with an important message, one that will just as easily elicit tears as smiles. It is one that goes to the very reason for the upcoming Christmas season, if you will. I know I’m not alone, for many folks in this community have fond memories of seeing the show presented at Ashland Community and Technical College at some point over the past two decades. Be it your local community theatre, a classic film adaptation, the book itself, or the Muppets version, it’s enjoyed all over.
Ashland Community and Technical College will continue their long tradition of presenting the show in early December. Public performances are Friday, December 2 and Saturday, December 3 at 7pm and Sunday, December 4 at 2:30pm. For the second year in a row, Jim Maggard takes the helm as director. If you saw how beautifully he orchestrated last year’s show, you know what a gem the 2016 staging will be. Hopefully, all will leave the theatre with a carol in their head, a message in their heart, and new memories of an age old story. Who knows, but somewhere in the mix may be a young one whose life will be forever altered.