Just in time to celebrate the season, Center REPertory Company is pleased to present Charles Dickens’s holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. Hailed by critics as “…THE Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area,” this REP favorite is celebrating its fifteen year, and first with the award winning, Bay Area favorite Mark Anderson Phillips debuting in the role of the miserly, joyless Ebenezer Scrooge. With only 16 performances, tickets are expected to sell fast. The show opens Saturday, December 8th at 7:30 p.m. Center REP Managing Director Scott Denison directs the ensemble of new faces and old pros, from the tragically doomed Jacob Marley to the incurably optimistic Tiny Tim. Ticket prices starting at $41 and can be purchased by calling 925.943.SHOW.
A Christmas Carol is the enduring and inspiring tale of redemption that follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s transformation after meeting a series of ghosts one evening. Theatregoers of all ages will enjoy this traditional holiday treat. Returning patrons will remember fondly the outlandish antics of Michael Ray Wisely as Christmas Present and the daunting specter of Jacob Marley, played by Jeff Draper, but more than a few changes and surprises keep the annual production fresh and exciting. Director Scott Denison says “the advantage of doing this year after year is that on opening night, I’m sitting in the back of the house and thinking “next year, I want to add this, and next year, I want to add that.”
Placed at the helm of one of the most popular and retold Christmas tales, director Scott Denison focuses on keeping his version fresh and familiar simultaneously. The freshness comes from out-of-this world special effects, and familiarity comes through the story and the recurring cast of characters that audiences from around the Bay Area have come to know and love each holiday season.
Joining the cast this year, Director Scott Denison is proud to introduce Mark Anderson Phillips in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. This will be Phillips 8th production with Center REP. “Mark will bring a new dynamic to this production,” Denison continues, “When you change a lead it affects all the other characters and will bring a fresh new outlook in telling this wonderful story.”
“It’s not the crotchety mean guy who is hard to portray,” Denison insists, “it’s the reborn man. It’s so important to the storytelling. Mark will bring honesty and sincerity.” I think he’s going to excel at it: he’s a workhorse and a brilliant actor.”
“We have all lost our way at some point, have closed down and shut ourselves off. Dickens reminds us how amazing and essential it is to open our hearts,” says Phillips, a recipient of three Bay Area Drama Critics’ Circle Awards and a favorite artist at Center REP.
“The audiences leave here ready to give each other a hug.” Denison claims, noting that special effects and other theatre magic enhance Dickens’ classic story. “It snows in the Hofmann Theater, after all!” he says, laughing.
A Christmas Carol is sure to warm the wintry heart of even the most hard-nosed Scrooge.
Director Scott Denison has directed and created lighting designs for over 200 productions, including Center REP’s acclaimed The Wizard of Oz, A Christmas Carol, Shirley Valentine and Dear Liar. Denison serves as Managing Director of Center REPertory Company, is the director and co-founder of Fantasy Forum Actors Ensemble, and created the Contra Costa County Shellie Awards. He has directed A Christmas Carol every year for the past eight years. “This story is a joy to return to every year for the actors, designers, and staff of Center REP. In the somber days of winter, this timeless tale of moving from darkness to light is certainly worth retelling,” remarks Denison. “The warmth and laughter are infectious.”
Featuring: Mark Anderson Phillips*, Michael A. Berg, Evan Boomer, Amanda Denison, Max DeSantis, Jeff Draper, Trevor Gomez, Nicole Helfer, Tim Homsley, Andrew Humann, Heather Kellogg, Britt Lauer, Maggie Mason, Everett Meckler, Robin Melnick, Marty Newton, Jason Pedroza, Jeanine Perasso, Grace Perry, Vince Perry, Barbara Reynolds, Tim Reynolds, Joel Roster, Kristina Schoell, Kerri Shawn, Claire Shepard, Grant Strain, Scott Strain, Molly Thornton, Kyle Valentine, Michael Wiles*, Michael Ray Wisely*, Olivia Wisely, Wendy Wisely, Brady Wright, with Narration by Ken Ruta*
The design team features:
Lighting Designer: John Earls, Sound Designer: Jeff Mockus, Casting Director: Jennifer Denison Perry, Scenic Designer: Kelly Tighe, Stage Manager: Jeff Collister*