The Performing Arts Department at Western Wyoming Community College is proud to announce its adaptation of the timeless holiday classic, ‘A Christmas Carol,’ opening Friday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m. in the WWCC Theatre. This is an original take on the classic novel by Charles Dickens, written by Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre Chris Will, M.F.A., and featuring such well-known Christmas characters as Scrooge, Jacob Marley, Bob Cratchit, and his son, Tiny Tim.
Additional shows are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 19, and Dec. 1, 2, and 3 at 7:30 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Saturday, Dec. 3. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6 for students and seniors. No children under 5 will be admitted to evening performances, but they are welcome to attend the Dec. 3 matinee. Tickets are available at http://www.wwcc.tix.com.
“I adapted the book myself, which allowed me to create my own version of the play, and though it was challenging, it only took me about a month to do,” Will said. “It was a lot of fun because I got to read the book several times, and each time I had a different version in my head, including the Muppets version and even Jim Carrey.”
Will pointed out that, although his production looks different from other stage version of the Dickens story, that does not mean it lacks the heart of the original tale. It still has the best parts from the book, he said, but the cast and crew have worked really hard to create something original and fresh, which should appeal to everyone in the audience.
Matthew Thomas, a second-year theater major from Westminster, Colo., plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.
“It’s been difficult for a number of reasons,” he said of playing the story’s main character, “but I would say the main reason was not having the same kind of animosity in my heart (as Scrooge has). I mean, how one person could have so much hatred for Christmas, I’ll never know.”
Although Thomas found it difficult to connect with his character at times, the young actor said he does possess maturity and some life experiences that help him bring Scrooge to life onstage.
Colin Bryner, a first-year musical theater major originally from Glenrock, Wyoming, said he is thrilled to play the role of Fred, Scrooge’s generous and festive nephew. Bryner noted that the process of creating a show in college is drastically different from what he experienced in high school.
“I went from practicing two hours a day, four times a week, to rehearsing four hours a day and six days a week,” he said. “The additional time has given me a chance as an actor to discover many more things within the character. That is something I would have never done in high school.”
Stephanie Hurzeler, a first-year musical theater major from West Jordan, Utah, portrays Fred’s wife, Sarah.
“I really love the ensemble work of the show,” she said. “The show needs every actor and part, no matter how small. My favorite part of the show, without giving too much away, is the future scene, which involves the entire cast.”
“A Christmas Carol” is sure to get audiences into the holiday spirit and remind everyone of the importance of keeping Christmas in one’s heart. The show runs Nov. 18, and 19, and Dec. 1, 2 and 3 at 7:30 p.m., with a public matinee Saturday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m. For more information, or to buy tickets, please call the Performing Arts Office at (307) 382-1721, or visit http://www.wwcc.tix.com.