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"A Christmas Carol" opens Nov. 30 for eight shows
Monday, November 20, 2006

Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

Local audiences will get a special holiday treat late this month when SUNY Fredonia stages the beloved Charles Dickens story, A Christmas Carol.

The classic tale of how Ebenezer Scrooge undergoes a dramatic change of character on Christmas Eve is the second event of the 2006-2007 Walter Gloor Mainstage Series. A production of the Department of Theatre and Dance, the show opens for an eight-performance run on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 8 p.m. in Marvel Theatre.

Farrell Chrysler Dodge Jeep is sponsoring the show, which continues on Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m.; Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.; Thursday, Dec. 7 through Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available at the Central Ticket Office in the Williams Center, or by phone at (716) 673-3501.

Tickets are $15 ($14 for senior citizens and $13 for students).

Not the first time that A Christmas Carol has been performed at SUNY Fredonia, this production is new in other ways. Director Ted Sharon, who teaches acting in the theatre and dance department, has altered a few details and characters to create a few surprises for the audience.

“We cast an African-American Scrooge,” Professor Sharon said. “Aundre Seals was the right actor for the role.” With many female students in the department looking for roles, he decided to that all the ghosts of past, present and future would be played by women.

Another treat for the community will be seeing four youngsters from area schools as part of the cast, including Christopher Wawro, a sixth-grader at Fredonia Middle School, who plays the part of Tiny Tim.

“I think people will find the production familiar yet intriguing,” Professor Sharon said.

The well-worn roles of the Cratchit family have been revised to make them a little less saintly. “What we’re asking the Cratchits to do is to be human,” Professor Sharon said. “We have sibling rivalries, a wonderfully patient father and an outspoken mother, who loves her husband dearly.”

Cast members who are SUNY Fredonia students in B.F.A. degree programs are Aundre Seals (Scrooge), a senior acting major from Vestal, N.Y.; Juliana Brady (Ghost of Christmas Past), a junior acting major from Phoenix, N.Y.; Erin Bulman (Ghost of Christmas Present), a senior musical theatre major from Loudonville, N.Y.; Chelsea Mauger (Ghost of Christmas Future), a senior acting major from Albany, NY.; James Stadt (Bob Cratchit), a senior acting major from Fairport, N.Y.; Roger Mulligan (Jacob Marley), a junior acting major from Honeoye Falls, N.Y; and Amanda Chmela (Mrs. Cratchit), a junior musical theatre major from Lindenhurst, N.Y. Kate Fahey, a junior acting major from Syracuse, N.Y., is stage manager and assistant director.

Lighting Designer for the show is Todd Proffitt.

Fredonia Theatre Professor Emeritus Gary Eckhart, a renowned scenic designer, designed the set.

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