‘A Wicked Christmas Carol’ at Center Theatre brings audiences to their feet
DOVER-FOXCROFT — On Friday night, Dec. 7, the Center Theatre and the Slightly Off-Center Players debuted a new work by award-winning playwright Bobby Keniston. His new work “A Wicked Christmas Carol” brings Dickens’ classic story “A Christmas Carol” to the land of Oz and casts it with characters from L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.”
We see the Wicked Witch of the West, the ‘Wicked’ in “Wicked Christmas Carol,” in scenes reminiscent of Ebenezer Scrooge. She is indeed very wicked and her servants and subjects fear and hate her. But over the course of the play she is visited by a series of ghosts, recognizable from the Wizard of Oz, that show her the error of her ways. In the end she must decide whether to repent her wicked ways or wind up as a puddle on the floor.
The cast is comprised of nearly 40 local actors, the youngest being only 7 years old. The cast brings a passion and energy to the stage that is contagious. The cast’s vitality is matched by the dynamic costumes, lighting, and sound which helps paint the full picture and brings the audience fully into the magical land of Oz. Keniston, who also directed the production, wrote the play for a number of reasons, not least of which was being able to see the two classic stories play off each other.
“Having the characters from Oz working through the themes from Dickens makes for some interesting opportunities,” Keniston said, “not the least of which is having a woman in the Ebenezer Scrooge role – something you never see. The two stories were also actually surprisingly compatible, which I think makes it more enjoyable for the audience.”
Supporting Keniston in the production is Stage Manager Trisha Smith, Lighting Designer Justice Scott, the talented students of the Foxcroft Academy art program, and over a dozen other volunteers who help behind the scenes.
The production is split into two acts and runs approximately two hours and 45 minutes. For those that missed opening weekend, there will be four more performances the weekend of Dec. 14 starting with a 7 p.m. show on Friday, a 2 and 7 p.m. show on Saturday, and a 2 p.m. show on Sunday the 16th. Admission is free for kids under 5. Tickets can be purchased at the Center Theatre, by calling 564-8943, or by visiting www.CenterTheatre.org.
The Center Theatre is a non-profit performing arts venue with a mission of making arts, culture, education, and entertainment accessible to our rural communities.