A.C.T. Presents “A Christmas Carol”, 12/2–12/24

Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

American Conservatory Theater presents the Charles Dickens classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL adapted by Carey Perloff and Paul Walsh and directed by acclaimed Bay Area director and actor Domenique Lozano. A music-infused celebration of goodwill, A.C.T.’s A Christmas Carol stars Bay Area favorite James Carpenter, returning for his fifth year in the iconic role of “Scrooge”. A.C.T. core acting company member Jack Willis reprises his audience favorite turn as the Ghost of “Jacob Marley”, Scrooge’s nightmarish late-night visitor, alongside many Bay Area favorites: Steven Anthony Jones, Sharon Lockwood, Delia MacDougall, Jarion Monroe, Nicholas Pelczar, and Howard Swain. A Christmas Carol runs December 2nd through 24th. VIP seating is available for all performances. Holders of VIP tickets enjoy the best seats in the house, a limited-edition Carol souvenir book, access to the Carol Lounge during intermission, and intermission treats.
Click here to order tickets on-line: A CHRISTMAS CAROL

The Ghost of Christmas Past (Erin Michelle Washington) and
Scrooge (James Carpenter).
Photo, Kevin Berne

“Dramatizations of A Christmas Carol have become an important American family ritual at holiday time, regardless of individual religious background or faith. Parents and grandparents have told us that the Carol experience is more important than ever,” says A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. “With everyone tightening their belts at this time, we are so proud that A.C.T. can continue to be a part of Bay Area families’ holiday traditions.” A.C.T. is committed to making this family-oriented classic affordable for the Bay Area community by offering discounted family four-packs and special group discounts.

Now in its 34th year at A.C.T., A Christmas Carol is a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and has become a holiday tradition for families from all around the Bay Area. Performed to date nearly 1,000 times to a collective audience of more than 800,000, A Christmas Carol has employed nearly 1,000 actors and 600 backstage staff. “I adore this play,” says director Lozano. “It’s a thrill to work on this story, which is about community, with a community of artists for whom it is tailor-made.”

The Ghost of Jacob Marley (Jack Willis) haunts Scrooge on Christmas Eve
Photo, Kevin Berne

The production features a multigenerational cast of performers led by James Carpenter as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining Carpenter are A.C.T. core acting company members Jack Willis as the Ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s nightmarish late-night visitor; A.C.T. M.F.A. Program graduate Nicholas Pelczar as Bob Cratchit; and Delia MacDougall as his wife, Anne Cratchit. Acclaimed Bay Area actors Jarion Monroe and Sharon Lockwood return as the ever-festive Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, along with Steven Anthony Jones, who reprises his role as the jovial Ghost of Christmas Present.



Charles Dickens was born February 7, 1812, in Portsmouth, England. The eldest son of a large middle class family, he experienced real poverty when his father was imprisoned for outstanding debts, and 12-year-old Charles was forced to leave home and work in a London factory. The experience deeply affected the boy and served as creative inspiration for the writer, whose many novels naturalistically depict the difficult conditions of 19th-century British working-class life. Dickens later went on to work as an office boy and a reporter, experiencing instant success as an author when The Pickwick Papers, a series of comic narratives written to accompany artistic engravings, was published in 1836. He followed The Pickwick Papers with the novels Oliver Twist (1839), Nicholas Nickleby (1839), Barnaby Rudge (1841), Martin Chuzzlewit (1844), A Christmas Carol (1843), and David Copperfield (1850). Featuring wild plot twists and lively depictions of London street life, his work, primarily published first in serial format, was easily adapted for the stage and appeared frequently at playhouses throughout England. In the 1850s Dickens suffered a period of unhappiness, brought on by the dissolution of his marriage to Catherine Hogarth, and his work began to tackle darker themes and more fully criticize industrial society. The novels of this period include Bleak House (1853), Hard Times (1854), Little Dorrit (1857), A Tale of Two Cities (1859), and, often considered his masterpiece, Great Expectations (1860). An exhausting series of reading tours late in life led to a decline in Dickens’s health, and he died in 1870 working on the unfinished manuscript of The Mystery of Edwin Drood.


Photo, Kevin Berne

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Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Editor and Publisher
Seán Martinfield, who also serves as Fine Arts Critic, is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.


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