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‘A Christmas Carol’ comes to life on stage in Marvel Theatre
Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A Christmas Carol 2008

Ebenezer Scrooge (Johnny Vitulli), left, confronts Bob Cratchit (John Crampton) in a scene from the SUNY Fredonia Department of Theatre and Dance production of “A Christmas Carol.” The production runs from Dec. 3 through 7 in Marvel Theatre.

Click here to purchase tickets online.

The tale that helped define the Christmas spirit as we know it will soon be brought life on stage at the State University of New York at Fredonia.

The Department of Theatre and Dance will present six performances of “A Christmas Carol” from Dec. 3 through December 7 in Marvel Theatre at Rockefeller Arts Center. It is the second production in the 2008-09 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series.

The play is an adaptation of the 1843 novella written by Charles Dickens. Tom Loughlin, a professor of Theater and Dance, will direct the production. He made his directorial debut at Fredonia with the 1988 production.

Loughlin intends to stage the Dickens’ classic in a traditional fashion. He hopes to kick off the holiday season with “holiday entertainment that the children will enjoy and that adds something for the adults who come as well.”

The story, brought to life by a talented cast of students, centers on the bitter, old miser Ebenezer Scrooge. Scrooge is visited by the three ghosts - The Ghost of Christmas Past, The Ghost of Christmas Present and The Ghost of Christmas Future.

The ghosts lead him on a journey of redemption over the course of one night - Christmas Eve. After seeing a potential grim fate, Scrooge decides to change his life and revert back to the kind, generous man of his youth, proving that friendship and love can conquer greed and wealth.

In order to keep this classic tale unique, Loughlin created his own adaption.

“I’ve realized the beauty of the piece as it is written is its own reward. In looking for a scripted version, however, nothing satisfied me,” he said. “Too many adaptations take liberties and try to gussy up the text. So I decided to adapt my own version, and let Dickens do the talking. You’ll hear his remarkable ability to paint wonderful word pictures, his clear sense of conscience and social justice, and his occasional right-to-the-point dialogue.”

Two dance scenes and some singing have been added. In viewing the production, Loughlin hopes the audience will “consider that there’s a little of Mr. Scrooge in all of us and Christmas is just the time of year to consider our own need for redemption.”

The production features newly designed set by Professor Emeritus Gary Eckhart. Eckhart has created more than 250 designs, including work for the Department of Theatre and Dance, Buffalo’s Studio Arena Theatre, The Champlain Shakespeare Company, Idaho Repertory Theatre, Tri-Cities Opera, Opera Delaware, Baltimore Opera, Washington, DC Summer Opera Theatre and the National Opera of Costa Rica.

“A Christmas Carol” is sponsored by Coldwell Banker Phil Mathyer Real Estate as part of the Lakeshore Savings Season.

Show dates and times are Dec. 3, 4 and 5 at 8 p.m., Dec. 6 at 2 and 8 p.m. and Dec. 7 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 (1-866-441-4928) or online at

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State University of New York at Fredonia