McCarter Theatre Center brings back annual ‘A Christmas Carol’

Greg Wood, center, with members of the 2018 cast and community ensembles of "A Christmas Carol."PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK GARVIN
×
Greg Wood, center, with members of the 2018 cast and community ensembles of "A Christmas Carol."PHOTO COURTESY OF MARK GARVIN

McCarter Theatre Center is announced the return of “A Christmas Carol,” directed by Adam Immerwahr.

This family-friendly production runs from Dec. 10-29 in the Matthews Theatre in Princeton. A popular annual event for families all across the region, McCarter Theatre Center’s production of Charles Dickens’ timeless story brings a tale of memory and redemption beyond the stage and out into the aisles and lobbies.

About the Show
Ebenezer Scrooge (Greg Wood) is no fan of Christmas. He “bah humbugs” every glimmer of holiday happiness. Cheer is costly and good-will is bad for business. This Christmas, however, things are going to be a little different. This annual holiday tradition will usher you into the spirit of the season with all the joy, wonder and generosity Scrooge discovers.

McCarter’s version of Ebenezer Scrooge’s magical journey through Christmas past, present, and future combines period-specific music with 21st-century design and special effects. A cast of professional actors are joined by “The Community Ensemble” – an ensemble of ranging from age 5-74, comprised of more than thirty people chosen from the greater Princeton community.

Audiences will experience an immersive Dickensian environment when they step inside the theater lobbies. This “pre-show” takes place an hour before each performance, where adults and children have the opportunity to meet characters from the play, sing along to holiday carols, and discover sweets and treats before taking their seats to enjoy a myriad of special effects, dance numbers and the story of Scrooge on stage.

Since its publication in 1843, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has come to embody everything that is good and right about the human spirit – not only during the holidays, but throughout the year. Originally written in rebuttal of the squalid working conditions of child laborers in Industrial Age England, “A Christmas Carol” remains a heartwarming tale of redemption, hope, and love. McCarter’s latest reimagining of this annual tradition has been honored with acclaim by audiences and critics alike, praising the Community Ensemble, in particular.

About the Creative Team
“A Christmas Carol” combines David Thompson’s adaptation with music by the late Michael Friedman, choreography by Lorin Latarro, scenic design by Daniel Ostling (many at McCarter including Lookingglass Theatre Company’s recent McCarter production of “Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein”), costumes by Linda Cho, lighting by Lap Chi Chu, sound design by Darron L West, wig design by Carissa Thorlakson, and special effects by Jeremy Chernick. The production’s musical director is Cris Frisco, founder and artistic director of The New Voice Project and musical director at Opera Fayetteville. Also returning are Jessica Bedford as associate director and Greer Gisy as choreography supervisor.

About the Cast

With an impressive roster of Broadway and regional credits, the cast of “A Christmas Carol” features returning McCarter “Carol” veterans Paul Deo Jr., Billy Finn, Andrea Goss, Sharina Martin, Steven Rattazzi, Jon Norman Schneider, A. J. Shively, Greg Wood and Frank X. Newcomers to the production include Twinkle Burke and Jo Twiss.

About the Community and Young Ensembles
The Community Ensemble includes Amy Blair of Ewing, NJ; Jamai Brown, Mitzi Hightower-Teel, Tristan Takacs, and Paul Zych of Trenton, NJ; Andrew James Gordon of West Windsor, NJ; Deonté Griffin-Quick of Linden, NJ; Preksha Kavalar and Paul Owen of Skillman, NJ; Liz Kent of Hackettstown, NJ; Andrea Kristensen of Hopewell, NJ; Al LaGratta and Jessica Stanzek of Kendall Park, NJ; Lillian A. McEwen and Jack Sabatino of Princeton, NJ; Kate Jones of Lamberville, NJ; Daniel McGinley of East Windsor, NJ; Sarah Middough of Oceanport, NJ; Finn Murray-Campbell and Benjamin Piccarillo of Pennington, NJ; Gloria Schnure of Somerset, NJ; Tara Parkman and Shan Williams II of Hamilton, NJ; Anoushka Sharma of Princeton Junction, NJ: and Lauryn Morgan Thomas of Landsdowne, PA.

The Young Ensemble is comprised of thirteen local children: Uriah Amacker, Chandler Miller, and Myla Delvalle of Trenton, NJ; Sanya Bhatt, Syra Bhatt, and Emre Celik of Cranbury, NJ; Camille Grove, Sam Roman, and Aria Song of Princeton, NJ; Alexander Perez of Ewing, NJ; Alicianna Rodriguez and Isabella Rodriguez of Hamilton, NJ; and Troy Vallery of Yardville, NJ.

About the Director
Adam Immerwahr is the former Associate Artistic Director at McCarter and the former Resident Director at Passage Theater. He is currently Artistic Director of Theater J, the nation’s largest and most prominent Jewish theater. Adam’s NYC directing credits: The Public, Theater Row (both for Summer Play Festival), Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Wild Project, and NYU’s Studio Tisch. Internationally, he directed the African premiere of The Convert (nominated for Zimbabwe’s National Arts Medal). Regionally, Adam has directed for Walnut Street Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Cleveland Play House, Theater J, Passage, Adventure Theater, Luna Stage, Hangar Theatre, Bristol Riverside, Premiere Stages, PlayPenn, and many others. Graduate of Brown University. Drama League Directing Fellow (2008). www.AdamImmerwahr.com

About McCarter Theatre Center
Under the leadership of award-winning playwright and Artistic Director Emily Mann, Managing Director Michael S. Rosenberg, and Special Programming Director William W. Lockwood, McCarter’s mission is to create world-class theater and present the finest artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment of the community. Winner of the 1994 Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theatre, world premieres include Christopher Durang’s “Vanya and Sonia” and Masha and “Spike” (2013 Tony® – Best Play); Tarell Alvin McCraney’s “The Brother/Sister Plays”;  Emily Mann’s “Having Our Say”; and Danai Gurira’s “The Convert.” McCarter brings artists from around the world to Princeton, New Jersey including Zakir Hussain, Yamato Drummers, Andy Borowitz and more. Education and outreach efforts serve tens of thousands through student matinees, in-school residencies, and adult classes. More at mccarter.org.