Hartford Stage Presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL, 11/25-12/30


Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas, Connecticut's beloved holiday tradition, returns to Hartford Stage for its 14th season. Adapted and originally directed for the stage by Michael Wilson, and now directed by Hartford Stage resident director Maxwell Williams, Dickens' timeless inspiring masterpiece runs from November 25 through December 30, 2011.

The Tony Award-winning theatre, under the leadership of Darko Tresnjak, Artistic Director and Michael Stotts, Managing Director announced casting today for A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas.

Hartford Stage favorite Bill Raymond returns for his 12th turn as Scrooge for all evening and 2:00 p.m. matinee performances, and Gustave Johnson will again lead the talented cast as Scrooge at student matinees.

A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas is the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, the heartless miser who discovers the true meaning of the holiday season after a Christmas Eve haunting. Featuring all of Charles Dickens' well-known characters (Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit, and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future), the story of love and redemption is both a chilling ghost story and a heartwarming holiday event for children of all ages.

Original cast member Noble Shropshire (Milton, NY), returns to play the Ghost of Jacob Marley and Scrooge's housekeeper Mrs. Dilber. Since 2004, Robert Hannon Davis (West Hartford) returns in the roles of Bob Cratchit and Mr. Fezziwig. Rebecka Jones (Hamden) returns in the roles of Mrs. Fezziwig and Mrs. Cratchit. Michael Bakkensen (New York) returns in the role of Scrooge's warm-hearted nephew, Fred, and Michael Preston (Hartford) makes his A Christmas Carol debut as Mr. Marvel. Cast members who have performed in all 14 seasons are JohAnna Morrison (West Hartford) as Bettye Pidgeon and the Spirit of Christmas Past, Alan Rust (West Hartford) as Bert and the Spirit of Christmas Present, and Michelle Hendrick (Hartford) as Belle.

The cast also features more than two dozen local children Tiana N. Bailey (Bloomfield), Eli Baker (South Glastonbury), Ailie Bednarz (Deep River), Tailanse Brantley (Springfield), Natalie Castonguay (Avon), Olivia Coe (Simsbury), Jordan Cyr (Cromwell), Jacrhys Dalton, Lorenzo Dalton, Rachel Dalton (Branford), Clareight Ellis, Seanan Ellis (West Simsbury), Yoni Haller (West Hartford), Jonathan Hammond (Farmington), Andrew Holland (West Hartford), Daniel Kemple (Hartford), Daniel Madigan (Avon), Emily May (Ivoryton), Michael Oliver (Avon), Ethan Pancoast (Rocky Hill), Maiya Pascouche (Simsbury), Thomas Ranttigan (West Hartford), Abbi Rice, Katie Rice (Avon), Ankit Roy (East Hartford), Laura Spineti (Higganum), Fred Thornley (Hartford), and Garet Weirdsma (New Hartford); as well as several "stars of tomorrow" making their Hartford Stage debut - members of the BFA Acting Program at The Hartt School. Acting students participating as A Christmas Carol cast members include Ben Cole (Hartford), Alana Fallis (Hartford), Mark Ford (Hartford), Nicholas Giuliani (Hartford), Morgan Hammel (Hartford), Laura Helm (Soughborough, MA), Tom Rash (Hartford), Timothy Rizzo (Hartford), Alex Saffer (Hartford), Charles South (Hartford), Kirsten Tarczynski (Hartford), Sophia Watt (Hartford), and Salvatore Zullo (Bronx).

Charles Dickens' novella, whose full title is A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas was published in 1843 to instant success, selling six thousand copies within its first week. Originally written as a quick money maker to enable Dickens to get out of debt, the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve has become one of the most popular and enduring Christmas stories of all time. The first stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol dates back to January of 1844 in London and movie adaptations of this story were filmed as early as 1910.

Seen by nearly a quarter million people since its premiere in 1998, Hartford Stage's A Christmas Carol has become the theatre's most popular production of all time and Connecticut's favorite yuletide entertainment.

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