Marin Theatre Company Presents Family-Friendly JACOB MARLEY'S CHRISTMAS CAROL by Tom Mula, 11/21-12/22
Marin Theatre Company continues its 2013-14 Season with a holiday production of Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol by Tom Mula, who was inspired to rehab A Christmas Carol, the annual theatrical standby, after performing the role of Scrooge onChicago stages for nearly a decade. Due to brisk ticket sales, MTC has extended this "thoroughly charming holiday treat" (Daily Herald) by eight performances. Directed by Jon Tracy, who helmed last year's hit It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and featuring actorsKhris Lewin (A Steady Rain), Rami Margron (debut), Nicholas Pelczar (The Whipping Man) and Stacy Ross (God of Carnage), the production will run during the holiday season for 36 performances, from November 21 through December 22. Opening night is Tuesday, November 26. Based in Mill Valley, MTC is a 47-year old professional nonprofit theater that is a destination for exhilarating performances, inspired new American plays and powerful theatrical experiences.
"Tom Mula's splendid, charming and, at times, spooky look into the afterlife of Scrooge's deceased partner Jacob Marley is the perfect holiday treat for theatergoers of all ages," artistic director Jasson Minadakis said. "For anyone who ever wondered 'Why did Marley come back for Scrooge in the first place?' or 'But what happens to Jacob Marley at the end of A Christmas Carol?,' this is the perfect companion piece or alternative to Dickens's holiday classic. I adore this play and am delighted to finally be sharing it with MTC's audiences. I find it has more emotional ups and downs than most stagings of A Christmas Carol, which is always good for a tale of redemption. And I could not be more pleased to have one of my favorite local directors, the ingenious Jon Tracy, at the helm."
Adapted for four actors from Charles Dickens' 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol "befits the season and makes A VERY OLD story new again" (The Seattle Times). Perfect for the whole family, this play opens as does the Victorian classic, with Marley dead as a doornail - "there is no doubt whatever about that" - but the focus never leaves his chained and burdened soul. This festive ghost story remains in the ethereal planes of the afterlife as Marley scrambles to redeem himself by reforming his former partner-in-greed, that "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner" Ebeneezer Scrooge... in just 24 hours. This is going to be one long night of "delectably zany, inspired theater" (CityBeat).
Mula, an actor as well as a playwright and director, performed the role of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago for seven seasons. Inspiration came to him to write his own adaptation when his friend's ten-year-old daughter commented that "Jacob Marley got a raw deal." He first wrote Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol as a novel, which was published by Adams Media in 1995 and became a Chicago Sun-Times bestseller. For six seasons, an audio version was broadcast nationwide on NPR.
The play version of Marley, originally written for one actor, premiered at the Goodman Theatre's Studio in 1998 starring Mula. The production won an After Dark Award and was so popular that it was revived the following year. Shortly thereafter, Mula developed a four-actor version, which premiered at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in 2001 with then artistic director Jasson Minadakis, directing. Published in 2004, the four-actor version has since been produced across the country, including in the Bay Area at Actors Theatre of San Francisco (2004), City Lights Theater Company (2007) and Sonoma County's Pegasus Theatre Company (2012).
Dickens's novella A Christmas Carol was such an immediate critical and commercial success after it was published in December 1843 that, within three months, it inspired eight rival theatrical adaptations in London alone. Stage versions of A Christmas Carol remain stock each holiday season and at least six productions were staged in the Bay Area in 2012 at A.C.T., Center REP, Notre Dame de Namur University, Novato Theater Company and San Jose Rep, as well as an Occupy Movement-inspired version by San Francisco MimeTroupe.