Featuring a lively cast of dozens, delightful music, gorgeous costumes, and those deliciously spooky ghosts, the Bay Area's favorite holiday tradition returns with American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.)'s celebrated production of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Now in its 36th year, this version of A Christmas Carol, adapted by Paul Walsh and Carey Perloff, stays true to the heart of Dickens's timeless story of redemption and brings a playful sensibility to his rich language. A Christmas Carol runs November 30–December 24, 2012, at A.C.T.'s Geary Theater (415 Geary Street, San Francisco). Press night is Tuesday, December 4, at 7 p.m. VIP seating is available for all performances, and VIP ticket holders enjoy the best seats in the house and complimentary drinks during intermission. Tickets (ranging in price from $20–$95), are available by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228 or online at www.act-sf.org. Groups of 15 or more save up to 50% and enjoy free tickets for group leaders. Call Edward Budworth at 415.439.2473 for group sales.
Hailed as "the best Christmas Carol ever!" by KCBS Radio's Jan Wahl, A Christmas Carol is a cornerstone of the A.C.T. repertory and has become a holiday tradition for families all around the San Francisco Bay Area. Since it began performances at A.C.T. 36 years ago (and continuing in its second adaptation, which premiered in 2005), A Christmas Carol has been performed more than 1,000 times to date to a collective audience of more than 800,000, A Christmas Carol has employed nearly 1,000 actors and 600 backstage staff members.
Says Perloff: "The joy and empathy that emanates from the stage in A Christmas Carol is so palpable-we have 8-year olds to 80-year olds performing side-by-side in Dickens' extraordinary tale of transformation and hope. Each year, the story seems to have more resonance and more life for audiences of every age."
A.C.T.'s A Christmas Carol features a multigenerational cast of performers led by James Carpenter as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining Carpenter are legendary Bay Area actor Ken Ruta (who originated this role in the 2005 production) as the Ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge's nightmarish late-night visitor; Nick Pelczar as Bob Cratchit; and Delia MacDougall as his wife, Anne Cratchit; Jarion Monroe and Sharon Lockwood as the ever-festive Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, along with A.C.T. core Acting Company member Omozé Idehenre, who reprises her role as the jovial Ghost of Christmas Present. The adult cast also includes Cindy Goldfield, Howard Swain, Arwen Anderson, and Stephanie DeMott.
Rounding out the cast are a record 27 young actors from the A.C.T. Young Conservatory (YC) as well as six third-year students from the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program. The M.F.A. Program performers-many of whom traditionally receive their Actors' Equity cards as a result of their participation in A Christmas Carol-are Rebekah Brockman, Raymond Castelán, Allegra Rose Edwards, Nick Steen, Tyee J. Tilghman, and Titus Tompkins. The YC actors for the 2012 production hail from all around the Bay Area. They are Graham Bennett, Frank Demma, Ian DeVaynes, Chloe Durham, Jack Estes, Dashiell Ferrero, Elke Janssen, Leo Jergovic, Louis Kehoe, Sydney Kistler, ShAlan Lee, Madelyn Levine, Elsie Lipson, Katerine Liviakis, Sarah Magen, Timothy Marston, Rachel Metzger, Kai Nau, Evelyn Ongpin, Gavin Pola, Kennedy Roberts, Lindsay Sohn, Carmen Steele, Sasha Steiner, Emma Sutherland, Samuel Sutton, and Seth Weinfield.
The creative team for A Christmas Carol includes Tony Award–winning scenic designer John Arnone (The Who's Tommy and The Full Monty on Broadway) and period costumes by Beaver Bauer. With original songs and score by composer Karl Lundeberg and choreography by Val Caniparoli of San Francisco Ballet, A Christmas Carol also features lighting design by Nancy Schertler, sound design by Jake Rodriguez, and musical direction by Robert Rutt.
A.C.T. would like to acknowledge its 2012–13 company sponsors Ms. Joan Danforth; Ray and Dagmar Dolby; Frannie Fleishhacker; Priscilla and Keith Geeslin; Marcia and John Goldman; James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen; Koret Foundation; Fred M. Levin and Nancy Livingston, The Shenson Foundation; Burt and Deedee McMurtry; Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Osher; Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock; Patti and Rusty Rueff; Ms. Kathleen Scutchfield; Mary and Steven Swig; Doug Tilden and Teresa Keller; and Jeff and Laurie Ubben.