A Christmas Carol (Linney) - November 21 - November 23, 2019

Wellington C Mepham High School

 A Note from the Director 

I have been wanting to stage A Christmas Carol for some time now. A few years back, Skull and Bones did a staged reading at independent bookstore Turn of the Corkscrew and at Mepham, and while this miniature production was fun for all involved, it wanted for the magic of a fully-staged production. Tonight, Skull and Bones brings that magic to you. I hope the magic that you find goes beyond the magic of what special effects we can muster. The magic we, as a company, intend to share with you is the magic of the heart.

 

What is it about this time of year that makes the world seem brighter and better? Early in the momring of the day when I composed this note, I stepped into the Starbucks on the corner of Merrick and Camp Avenues. Yesterday it was an average Starbucks; this morning it was a Christmas Starbucks.  And in the haze of the morning, when the day stretched long before me and the weight of my tasks bore heavily on my shoulders, that little bit of magicthe overnight decorative transformation of the store—revived my soul and lifted my spirits. Like Starbucks, I was transformed. (The coffee was an added bonus.)

 

My favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol is not the lauded 1951 black-and-white picture starring Alastair Sim. I do appreciate it—don't get me wrong—but it's the 1992 The Muppet Christmas Carol that takes top-prize in my book. It may be because this version is a musical adaptation.  It also may be because this version connects me to my childhood and the belief in magic I once had. However, I'm most impressed at how well Jim Henson's creations mesh with Dickens's characters in this faithful love letter to the novel.

 

While whisking Scrooge through the present Christmas, the Ghost of Christmas Present sings "It Feels Like Christmas." I've included the song lyrics in their entirety on the next page, but here is my favorite lyric that the ghost sings when describing the holiday: "It is the summer of the soul in December." Allow me, if you will, to wax poetic—a hazard of the English-teacher trade. Alliteration aside, the paradox of summer in December—the warmth of love and goodwill despite the coldness of the world—is gorgeous. Therein lies the magic.

 

Christmas and the holiday season asks of us all a question: How have you extended kindness, in however small the amount, to others? How have you bestowed patience, despite having little time of your own, on others? How have you shown love, no matter how difficult it may be, to others? Christmas is a time to stop and consider these answers. I admit, I would say that I could do better and must do better. This is true for all of us, I'm sure. We rush around and get caught up in our day-to-day chores; it's easy to get caught up in our own worries and responsiblities as we hurry throughout our days.

 

But now is the time of year when we can reflect and start anew. The gift that Charles Dickens gives to each of us is the chance to avoid the fate of Ebenezer Scrooge. While Scrooge does mend his ways and atone for his misdeeds, he only does so when he is in the twilight of his life. We are more fortunate than Scrooge. The power to transform ourselves and others through acts of kindness and love is the true magic of Christmas and the holiday season.

 

As you take in tonight's production, we hope you also take in some of this magic and leave this theater feeling transformed, feeling brighter, feeling better. May you all have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, and a Happy New Year!

 

—Edward Grosskreuz, Jr.

 

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