Lake Tahoe Community College begins ‘A Christmas Carol’ performances |

Lake Tahoe Community College begins ‘A Christmas Carol’ performances

Autumn Whitney
The first performance of "A Christmas Carol" is Saturday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m.
Courtesy / Pat Leonard-Heffner |

Enjoy a night out at Duke Theatre and leave “Bah, humbug!” feelings behind, as Lake Tahoe Community College theatre arts presents Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” in a new light.

“It’s a very stripped-down version that moves quickly, and I think it’s very entertaining. There’s humor — we really try to mine humor out of these things. It’s a different look at this familiar story,” director Susan Boulanger said.

The critically acclaimed tale follows bitter Ebenezer Scrooge as he travels through time with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future. This timeless story is great for all ages and a perfect way to celebrate the start of holiday season.

“To be able to bring a story of love, hope and compassion is always something that I feel blessed about. It’s a reminder to me and it’s something that speaks to a lot of people,” Boulanger said.

After rehearsing for approximately nine weeks, the 20-person cast, along with crew, is ready with a show that not only draws from the original Dickens text, but also utilizes Boulanger’s own adaptations, including how Scrooge’s boyhood turned him into the angry man he became.

“I’m always interested in a character’s background, what makes a character who they are, what they went through. That’s certainly one thing I wanted to emphasize. Scrooge becomes so walled-up as a defense against the pains of the world and the hurt he’s experienced from his childhood up until his last teen years.

“That’s where, certainly in the Dickens story, he’s beginning to close off and money is his only salvation. It’s the only thing that makes him feel safe and like he has any control over his life,” Boulanger said.

She also transformed many traditionally male roles into female alternatives, and incorporated characters that are not always included in productions of the Dickens tale.

“Susan has taken into account and written a lot more parts for women. Traditionally Scrooge has a nephew, but in this production he has a niece.

“Most of these roles either aren’t even portrayed in most ‘A Christmas Carol’ versions — or they’re only found in the actual story written by Dickens — and are men in all of those. It’s nice to see more female parts, and the interpretation,” said Alicia Agnew, who portrays multiple characters in the play.

Cast members also commented on the adapted script and staging.

“It’s a really good blend of modern and old Dickensian speech. We’ve also added a bit more modern staging that you wouldn’t typically see in a traditional ‘A Christmas Carol.’ The set is very minimalist and we do a lot with lighting effects,” said Ellen Martin, who also plays multiple roles.

Catch “A Christmas Carol” at LTCC’s Duke Theatre beginning Saturday, Nov. 12, at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances are scheduled for Nov. 13 and Nov. 20 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 12 and Nov. 17-19 at 7:30 p.m.

General admission tickets are $10, seniors and groups of eight or more are $7, and children under 13 and students with a valid ID are $5. Advance sales are conducted through the LTCC bookstore, and day-of tickets are available at the box office, which opens one hour prior to curtain.

Additional information is available by calling LTCC’s box office at 530-541-4660, ext. 207.

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