A CHRISTMAS CAROL presented by THE WALPOLE PLAYERS

The Walpole Players will be hosting for the fifth time Charles Dickens’ classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL on December 12-15, 2012 in the Helen Miller Theater at the Walpole Town Hall in Walpole, New Hampshire.  The curtain rises at 7 PM each evening when Mr. Charles Dickens arrives to read his classic tale as the players portray a number of the scenes.

As the players’ gift to the community, there is no admission for the four performances, but the players ask their audiences to make a cash donation at the door for area food shelves.  In the first four years of this tradition donations have increased each year and the total has now exceeded $13,106.  For additional information please call:  call: Ray at (603) 756-4545 or Tara at  (603) 756-4861.

GENIUS OF OUR PRODUCTION

What we had hoped would become a tradition in Walpole has exceeded our expectations with your help.  Members of our cast now anxiously return at this busy time of year looking forward to working on the performance; and, we have learned the community too now awaits the show – we even started receiving phone calls in early November requesting tickets.

But how did this come about?  You may recall that our final performance of YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU during was cancelled during “old home days” in 2008 when a freak storm disrupted power in Walpole.  The good news was we started our cast party early, by candle light.  That evening Jean Kobeski said, “We should do A CHRISTMAS CAROL.”  My ears perked up.  In the early 1990s following a trip exploring Dickens’ London I wanted to give readings of Dickens’ holiday tale in my book shop.  That did not come about when Cathy and I married and eventually moved here.  Well, the suggestion germinated and at our 2008 annual meeting I brought the idea up.  It was enthusiastically received, and Tara and I offered to take on the project.  We read a number of stage adaptations and were intrigued with the use of tableaus within a frame.  We then could have Dickens reading as he did in public performances from 1853 until his death in 1870.  Tara suggested we acquire a scrim for the frame which would enable us to have black outs to change the scenes, and her efforts in having it donated to the players has provided a magical effect.

Each year we have changed the scenes somewhat, and I have endeavored to bring our adaptation to as close to Dickens’ original as practicable to get his messages across.  But A CHRISTMAS CAROL has been read and performed since 1843 – 167 years – obviously a success and tradition.  So, even without any additional changes The Walpole Players know that our tradition will continue too, and in the spirit of  Ebenezer Scrooge’s redemption our audiences will continue to do what they can for those less fortunate at this time of year.  (from the play program for the 2010 production)

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