The La Grande Shakespeare Company is looking to start a holiday tradition in Union County.

The group of actors will perform Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and, with enough support, will do so every year.

Grant Turner,
La Grande Shakespeare Company director, said he’s always loved this story.

“I had to take out some of the dialogue but we’ll still have a narrator,” he said. “We’ll be there with music stands and tell the story with sound effects. It should be a lot of fun.”

The tale, which was originally written in just six weeks, is about Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts — the Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come — over three nights. It is a redeeming tale of a man whose past — quite literally — comes to haunt him but who is renewed with the Christmas spirit at the end.

“It’s playful and whimsical,” the director said of the tale.

The story has been told in many different ways but Turner wanted to stay as true as possible to the original 1843 script. He did have to condense it from 90 minutes to about one hour.

“It’s always been a favorite story of mine. I love Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday. And I love walking down the snowy streets of Adams Avenue because I can imagine Bob Cratchit (Scrooge’s underpaid clerk) very easily.”

Turner, who acts as well as directs, said he opted not to play Cratchit because he knew he couldn’t get through the script without crying over Tiny Tim, Cratchit’s crippled son.

“I love this story because it’s the idea of redemption. It’s about changing into a better human being, and that can resonate to this day and age,” Turner said.

Kevin Cahill will play Scrooge, and Cassie Johnson, Zaquarie Mendenhall, Rose Peacock, Wylie Peacock, Anne Turner, Nicole Turner and Grant Turner will fill in the other roles.

The La Grande Shakespeare Company anticipates people will enjoy the intimate play so much they will want to see it every year.

“Come expecting to have fun and hopefully you’ll leave with the Christmas spirit,” Turner said.

The play will begin tonight and run through this weekend then continue on weekends until Christmas. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. on Sundays. There will also be a 7:30 p.m. showing on Dec. 23.

The production will be at Looking Glass Books, 1304 Adams Ave., La Grande. Tickets $10. Call 541-963-8057 for further information or to make reservations.

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