Nothing prepares anyone for the Christmas season and the spirit of joy more than a Christmas play, especially the play “A Christmas Carol.”
“A Christmas Carol” is playing at the University of West Florida’s Center for Fine and Performing Arts Mainstage Theatre for the sixth consecutive year. The play will open on Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m.
“The department wants to build a Christmas tradition for the Pensacola community – something that people can come to year after year,” Director Samuel Osheroff said via email.
“A Christmas Carol” was written by Charles Dickens and is about a mean-spirited old man, Ebenezer Scrooge, who sits alone at home during the Christmas season. Everyone who knocks on his door, Scrooge sends away. Later four ghosts come to visit him and teach him the ways of compassion and the importance of kindness.
The students involved in “A Christmas Carol” are working extremely hard and preparing for opening night.
Osheroff said this year he is going to be re-staging last year’s production and has made many refinements in dialogues, moments of character interaction and staging. He said he is encouraging the cast to find the truthful moments behind all of the Dickensian sappiness.
The students involved in the play are sharing the spotlight with Herman Johansen, a professional actor, who has directed, written and acted in “Later Life,” “Of Mice and Men” and “Death of a Salesman.” This play allows students the chance to interact with professional actors and learn from them.
Johansen was hired and brought in by the Fine, Performing and Communication Arts Department for the third year in a row to play Scrooge so that the students get a chance to learn from his technique and experience from the professional world, Osheroff said.
This year Johansen said that he hopes to bring something different to the character. He said he hopes to show the human side of Scrooge because he is usually presented as someone who has only one emotion and attitude, like a cardboard figure. Johansen wants to show the audience why Scrooge is the way he is.
“Hopefully [we will bring] more dimension than Scrooge was originally played with,” Johansen said.
It should be a pretty strong and developed production, not that it wasn’t in the years before, Johansen said.
“It all depends on the actors we have, and this year I think we have a very good cast,” Osheroff said.