A holiday classic comes to life in an intimate, dinner-theater setting when the City of Fairfax Theatre Co. and Truro Anglican Church present “A Christmas Carol.” Guided by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, Ebenezer Scrooge will take a journey leading to his transformation and redemption.
Show times are Thursday, Dec. 4, at 7:30 p.m., with 6:30 p.m. dinner; Saturday, Dec. 6, at 10 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. with 6:30 p.m. dinner (limited availability); and Sunday, Dec. 7, at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $10, adults; $5, students, via www.fairfaxcitytheatre.org, and $15 and $10, respectively, at the door. Dinner shows are $25/ticket, either way. (A special, $20 family package is offered for the Dec. 6 show at 10 a.m.). Truro is at 10520 Main St. in Fairfax.
The cast and crew of 30 have been rehearsing since September and the actors are ages 8-85. “We have both experienced and new actors,” said Director Kirsten Boyd. “Things are going really well and everyone’s having fun.”
What’s unique about this play, she said, is that the whole room is part of the set. “The actors will be performing in the aisles and onstage, so the audience will feel like they’re part of the story,” said Boyd. “We’ll have an old-fashioned lamppost in the center of the room, and the audience will sing Christmas carols with the cast throughout the show.”
Portraying Scrooge is Truro church member Kevin Gilroy. “He’s deeply flawed and figures out all his faults during the play,” said Gilroy. “He learns who he is and what he wants in life. He’s grumpy and crotchety and has a hard time connecting with people. He’s not receptive to changing until toward the end.”
Gilroy said the role’s draining because “I go through a lot of emotions, but it’s fun to process those feelings. And I’m excited to be the lead because I get to connect with everyone in the audience, all at once. People will enjoy the show because it’s about the true meaning of Christmas, the production is energetic and they’ll have fun singing Christmas carols.”
Fairfax High sophomore Sierra Hoffman is the costume designer and also plays Bob Cratchit’s wife. “She’s a hardworking mother of four, crazy children who bounce off the walls,” said Hoffman. “She’s loving, but also weak emotionally because her family’s poor and has so many problems.”
Hoffman’s enjoying her role because “her family’s fun to be with and she shows many different emotions – happiness, sadness and anger.” She said the audience will appreciate how well the actors work together and “they’re going to love how happy this show makes them feel.”
Portraying the eldest daughter, Martha Cratchit, is Vienna’s Melissa Handel, an eighth-grader at Kilmer Middle School. “She’s 21 and still trying to find herself,” said Handel. “But she’s also very responsible and helps her mom look after the other children. Usually, I play a younger person, but this time I get to play someone older. The hardest part is the language, speaking in old English.”
As for the audience, she said, “They’ll like how we interact with them. We walk around and talk with people, not just with the other characters on stage. Everybody in the cast is very talented, and I think we interpret our characters a bit differently than the audience would expect.”
Herndon’s Meriel Carney is one of three ghost dancers who are in nearly every scene. “We do ballet and contemporary dances, flow the scenes together and enter the stage with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future,” she said. “We dance either to a live violinist or to singing.”
She and the other dancers choreographed their routines and are having a good time performing together. Carney said the audience will be able to connect with the members of the Cratchit family and understand what they’re feeling.
“The show’s heartwarming,” she said. “Christmas is a time to be with family, and this play shows that, no matter what, you can change if you’re not the person you want to be. And there’s lots of Christmas spirit to get everybody ready for the holidays.”