South Coast Repertory (David Ivers, Artistic Director and Paula Tomei, Managing Director) is celebrating the holiday season with the return of its traditional production of A Christmas Carol, an Orange County favorite for more than 40 years. The Charles Dickens classic, adapted by Jerry Patch, runs Nov. 27-Dec. 26 on the Segerstrom Stage.
SCR Founding Member Richard Doyle takes the top hat and scarf as Ebenezer Scrooge, the character whose name became synonymous with greed and miserliness. And Hisa Takakuwa, who served as assistant director for 14 years and also appeared in the production for 14 more, takes the helm as director.
“We are thrilled to welcome Richard and Hisa in their new roles as part of A Christmas Carol,” Ivers said. “Richard and Hisa both bring vast knowledge of A Christmas Carol’s SCR tradition and tremendous artistry to their roles in what is an inspirational journey that embodies the holiday spirit.”
For Doyle, this is a natural progression. He has played many of the show’s characters over his 36 years in the production. Doyle played the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Present, Fezziwig, Scrooge’s nephew Fred and both solicitors. His playing Ebenezer Scrooge was foreshadowed early in his life.
“The first time I saw a play live was when we were living in Italy. My brother, Bobby, played Scrooge in a school production of A Christmas Carol,” Doyle said. “I didn’t know the story at all; didn’t know Charles Dickens at all. But when I saw this play, I remember saying to my mom, ‘I want to do that. I want to do a play like Bobby.’ She said, ‘You’ll get your chance.’”
Doyle gets his chance in SCR’s 41st annual production of A Christmas Carol.
“He’s been an essential part of our production since it began, giving great support to Hal Landon’s Scrooge in key roles,” Patch said. “No one has seen the play as often and as close up as Richard, and I can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to the role of Scrooge. He’ll make it his own and I’m betting it will be terrific.”
For her part, Takakuwa understands her role as the artistic caretaker of what is more than a play. A Christmas Carol is an Orange County holiday institution and Ivers said Takakuwa’s longtime connection to the production along with her directing expertise with performers of all ages makes her the perfect choice to lead this production.
“I think it’s such an important bridge to the community, opening the door and welcoming people back to the theatre,” she said. “There are so many families in Orange County that this is part of what they do for the holidays. It’s a family tradition. Every year, there are multi-generational families who spend their holidays with us, and to be trusted with the responsibility of making sure they enjoy their experience is a great gift.”
Joining Doyle in A Christmas Carol’s cast are Daniel Blinkoff (Bob Cratchit), Michael Manuel (Ghost of Marley), Richard Soto (Ghost of Christmas Present), Jennifer Parsons (Ghost of Christmas Past), Melody Butiu (Mrs. Fezziwig/Solicitor), Tommy Beck (Young Scrooge), Sol Castillo (Fred/Gentleman), Kelsey Bray (Mrs. Shelley/Pursued Maiden), Rosney Mauger (Constable/Young Marley), Kelsey Kato (Topper), Art Koustik (Joe), Erika Schindele (Belle), Nick Slimmer (Thomas Shelley), William Francis McGuire (Mr. Fezziwig), Tamlyn Tomita (Mrs. Cratchit) and Paige Lindsey White (Sally).
The 16 young performers are divided into two eight-person teams, which alternate performances.
The Red Team features Natalie Bright (Martha Cratchit), Colin Savage (Peter Cratchit), Tessany Azizi (Belinda Cratchit), Presley Coogan (Tiny Tim), Halia Lindauer (Teen Girl About Town), ChloeLux Phan (Girl About Town), Maximillian Lalli (Boy Scrooge/Oliver Shelley) and Dylan Gorham (Turkey Boy)
The Green Team features Tess Fox (Martha Cratchit), Cooper Latham (Peter Cratchit), Sofia Mendez (Belinda Cratchit), Maddie Chung (Tiny Tim), Zoe Hebbard (Teen Girl About Town), Justine Roussel (Girl About Town), Arman Hamidi (Boy Scrooge/Oliver Shelley) and Nicholas Brown (Turkey Boy).
The creative team includes Thomas Buderwitz, scenic design; Dwight Richard Odle, costume design; Donna & Tom Ruzika, lighting design; Dennis McCarthy, music arrangement/composer; Drew Dalzell, sound design; Dennis Castellano, vocal director; Kelly Todd, choreographer; Joanne DeNaut, CSA, casting and Talia Krispel, production stage manager.
A Christmas Carol received generous support from Honorary Producers Julianne and George Argyros/Argyros Family Foundation. The media sponsor is the Orange County Register.
Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $34 to $84, with additional discounts available for children under 12. Tickets may be purchased online at http://www.scr.org or by phone at (714) 708-5555. More information is available at www.scr.org.
Related Information for A Christmas Carol
Performance Dates, Times
Previews run Saturday, Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 28 at 12 p.m. and 4 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 30 and Thursday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.
Saturdays, at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.: Dec. 4, 11 and 18
Sundays, at noon and 4 p.m.: Dec. 5, 12, 19 and 26.
Tuesdays-Fridays, at 7:30 p.m.: Dec. 3, 8-10, 14-17, 21-23
Friday, Dec. 24: noon and 4 p.m.
Student Matinees: Wednesday, Dec. 1 and Tuesday, Dec. 7 at 11:30 a.m.
American Sign Language-Interpreted Performance: Saturday, Dec. 4, at 2:30 p.m.
Location: South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa, at the Bristol Street/Avenue of the Arts exit off the San Diego (405) Freeway in the David Emmes/Martin Benson Theatre Center, part of the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Parking is available on Park Center Drive, off Anton Boulevard.
Complete information is available at www.scr.org.
ABOUT SOUTH COAST REPERTORY: Tony Award-winning South Coast Repertory, founded in 1964, is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR is widely recognized as one of the leading professional theatres in the United States. While its productions represent a balance of classic and modern plays and musicals, SCR is renowned for its extensive new-play development program—The Lab@SCR—which includes one of the nation’s largest commissioning programs for emerging, mid-career and established writers. Of SCR’s more than 500 productions, one-quarter have been world premieres. SCR-developed works have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes and eight Pulitzer nominations, several Obie Awards and scores of major new-play awards. Located in Costa Mesa, Calif., SCR is home to the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, the 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage and the 94-seat Nicholas Studio. http://www.scr.org