Christmas Carol pix

‘An Averitt Christmas Carol’ brings humor and local flair to the Dickens’ classic

Ebenezer Scrooge…with a sense of humor?

The stingy money lender who despises Christmas takes the stage at the Emma Kelly Theater on December 13-16 with a host of dancers, singers and other talented local artists in An Averitt Christmas Carol, an original adaptation of Charles Dickens’ timeless novel.

Sponsored by Farmers and Merchants Bank and Dabbs, Hickman, Hill and Cannon, this family-friendly version of A Christmas Carol was created by guest director Bobby Bodford for the Children’s Theatre of Winston-Salem (N.C.) in 2012 and has been adapted to Statesboro and Bulloch County.

“A Christmas Carol” is like the perfect story,” said Bodford. “It has a mean character who makes a life-changing transition. But, it tends to be a little heavy for children. We wanted to do an adaptation to make it lighter and more family friendly. It’s the story just like everyone remembers but infused with humor and some real silly stuff. I like to call it a G-rated Mel Brooks event.”

Tickets are $20 for adults ($22 non-members) and $10 for youth, high school students, and university students with college I.D. ($12 non-members). All tickets are subject to a $1 restoration fee.

Bodford brings over 45 years of experience as a professional director, playwright and actor to his Statesboro director’s chair. His directing credits include critically acclaimed productions of the Smoke on the Mountain Trilogy and Jekyll and Hyde at Twin City Stage, Avenue Q, The Producers and Young Frankenstein for the Community Theatre Greensboro and most recently, Once Upon a Christmas Eve and Robin Hood for Randolph Youth Theatre in Asheboro, NC. He co-wrote and directed productions of Wildwood Flowers, the June Carter Musical at the Cape Fear Regional Theatre and the Roy Acuff Theatre in Nashville, TN.  He and his wife Nicole founded “Adventure In Theatre” and conduct theatrical summer camps throughout North Carolina.
Aside from a more light-hearted attitude, the setting of the play is also full of local and modern-day references.

“Not to give anything away,” said Bodford, “but the opening scene has Scrooge arriving home from work on Christmas Eve and he gets infuriated because there’s not any ketchup in his drive-thru hamburger meal. It’s just gonna be funny.”
Long-time Averitt Center personality Brooks Adams portrays Ebenezer Scrooge. Joey Bielik is the long-suffering Bob Cratchet while Mason Thompson is Tiny Tim. Averitt Center veteran John Parcels in Jacob Marley’s ghost, Gabrella Quirino is the Ghost of Christmas Past, Kevin Dumas is the Ghost of Christmas Present and Jhoy Guereno is the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Other cast members include Joshua Murray, Alan Tyson, Ressie Fuller, Stan Haselton, John Parcels, Hannah Burke, Peyton Chapman, Brandon Howard, Sosi Sobaje, Brandon Adams, Alex Schroyer, Ashley Morgan, Elizabeth Harvey, Nicole Deal, Steve Morgan, Aubrey Dean Ella Sojaje, Presleigh Morrison, Amber Wade, Nathan Quirino, Merrin Chapman, Felecia Dunn, Robert Cottle, Chloe Colon, Tasha Pellerin, Jean Marie Donovan, Gina DiPolito, Janelle Spivey, Ashley Baines, Catherine Hadid, Lauren Sobaje, Isabella Miglarese and Carilina Brannen.

“I’ve never been anywhere that you couldn’t find good actors and Statesboro is no exception,” said Bodford.

Besides actors, students from the Averitt dance, chorale and strings programs will be performing throughout the 90-minute play.

“There will be music with carolers and members of the orchestra performing,” said Bodford. “When Scrooge remembers his childhood sweetheart Belle (Hannah Burke), she is a ballerina. The play incorporates students from the various departments of the Averitt Center.”

Seating is limited. To reserve your ticket, please call the Averitt Center for the Arts at (912) 212-2787 during box office hours (Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-7 p.m.) or purchase online at www.averittcenterforthearts.org.