/What the Dickens is going on in Jackson this Christmas

What the Dickens is going on in Jackson this Christmas

Ebenezer Scrooge is a generous man for such a poor man. Every Christmas, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas
” is featured on book shelves, screens, and stages.
Carol” from old-fashioned to modern-fangled takes. No matter how old-fashioned or novel the story is, it all retains that golden nugget at its core. Jackson’s New Stage Theatre has seen a lot of “A Christmas Carol” over the
years. The 25th season of this production marks the 25th anniversary of its original 1984 staging. This one, an
Michael Wilson adapts the story to five times. Peppy Biddy, the 14th director of the stage, takes the reins for the second time. Francine Thomas Reynolds, artistic director of New Stage, says that the story’s
is not only at New Stage.
They make frequent appearances. “People love the story about ‘A Christmas Carol’ because it’s ecumenical and one, and universal two, and three. I think the story is what draws people in.” The emphasis on the Cratchit home and the generosity of the holiday season resonates, too. It’s not about material possessions. People want to be reminded about that.” Ballet Magnificat! is another Jackson arts staple. This December, Jiri Sebastian Voborksy, creative director and resident choreographer, will tackle “A Christmas Carol.” Voborsky, a Czech-born choreographer, didn’t grow-up with “A Christmas Carol.” The tale was his first introduction. His daughter Maya watched a Barbie adaptation. “It was kind of dark,” I remember. Anna Bentley, a fellow dancer suggested it as a possible new ballet. Voborsky quickly learned the 1984 movie version with George C. Scott. It was difficult to adapt the story to the stage and the mission of the Jackson-based Christian ballet group. “As the Lord always does, I was driving to work and had the idea of taking Scrooge on Christmas Past. I then thought about him being taken to Bethlehem to see the birth of Christ. It was perfect. Voborsky says that he was then taken to the Christmas Future — Heaven to see the Bride and fight with Satan. Next, Christmas Present and the question about Scrooge’s salvation. Voborsky states that there is a lot of hope, as well, hopefully. It’s a massive production with 115 dancers (company dancers, trainees, and School of the Arts kids) and 260 costumes. New Stage’s annual appeal is also its size. With its large cast and wide variety of roles, even some for children, it has a huge cast. Reynolds states, “It’s an opportunity for the community to get involved in.” Turner Crumbley is now playing Ebenezer Scrooge on New Stage. He jokes that he knows “A Christmas Carol” from his younger years. “I think it’s safe for me to say that I love the show.” But, “I don’t believe anyone knows it inside out.” Charles Dickens has crammed a lot of unique stories and details into his book. Crumbley states that… there is always more to learn about them.” Biddy states that the play can only portray so much of the book, but “we keep going back to it as a resource,” with its vivid descriptions and rich descriptions, so actors can bring the story to life. Biddy also has a foundation with this tale that goes back many decades. To prove his point, he pulls up a photo of himself with his muttonchops back in 1980. Hair. He also laughed at the plaid pants, a memento from an ensemble part in a Dallas production. New Stage’s Michael Wilson adaptation, “A Christmas Carol, A Ghost Story of Christmas,” centers on Scrooge and the ghosts, and their journey that leads to redemption and revelation. Biddy states that this particular version “takes it one step further” and creates a group of ghosts not named but described in the script to be from different centuries. Marley is accompanied by other apparitions, who transport Scrooge into other realms. Crumbley states that Scrooge is well-written from Dickens to this adaptation. He is incredibly well-described by both himself and others so it’s easy to see what you should do. He’s the hero at the end of the story. Although he is the protagonist, he is also a quirky hero. He is a true take on the everyday man. It’s a great pleasure to be able to see how he has changed over the years, and how that informs his future.
Present, and how it affects him by the future that could be created by following the same path and following the same intentions that he seems have followed all his adult life. A course correction choice is before him as it is for all. December 5-22 will see performances of “A Christmas Carol and A Ghost Story of Christmas” at New Stage Theatre. Public performances are at 7:30 p.m., Dec. 5-7 and 11-14, 17-21, and 2 p.m., Dec. 8 and 15. Adult tickets are $35, while seniors, students, and military get $30 off. Call 601-948-3533 or visit www.newstagetheatre.com. Thalia Mara Hall will host performances of “A Christmas Carol” by Ballet Magnificat!” at 2 p.m. December 21-22. Tickets are $20-$60 at balletmagnificat.com/scrooge or 601-977-1001.