The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Campus puts local twist on Charles Dickens’ Christmas Carol

By Karen Gavis/se news editor

Set in 1929 Fort Worth, SE drama students will put a Texas twist on a classic tale by Charles Dickens this holiday season.A Christmas Carol, adapted and directed by University of Texas at Arlington theater associate professor Dennis Maher, will be performed Nov. 17-19 in the C.A. Roberson Theatre on SE Campus.

SE drama student Kevin Boateng, who choreographed the drama, said it all just came together. One scene has the cast high stepping to the “Cotton-Eyed Joe.”

Boateng said Fezzywig’s Ball is his favorite scene because he gets to both act and dance in it.

“It’s like getting to do two things I love all at once,” he said.

The youthful Scrooge of Christmas Past is played by SE drama student James Sabolchick.

Sabolchick said he relates to the character because he is doing what he can to be happy and is not focused on his finances at that point. 

“He is having a good time with his friends,” he said. “And I like having a good time with mine.”

Sabolchick said he thinks the audience will enjoy this version of A Christmas Carol because it has a fresh look.

Maher’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol revisits the ghostly tale of a coldhearted and uncompassionate miser, Ebenezer Scrooge.

After the death of his associate, Scrooge is haunted by the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future.

He is reminded that, throughout his life, he has been the personification of stinginess and greed.

Maher, who has been a theater professional for 46 years, said people attend A Christmas Carol as a “tip of the hat” to culture, sort of like they attend opera or Shakespeare, although the story is a haunting that happened to someone else a long time ago.

“I wanted to create a version of the story that hit a little closer to home than the usual Christmas Carol,” he said. ”I wanted to write about something I knew, and Fort Worth fit the bill in all respects.”

Maher said he is happy that his choice of 1929 seems to pretty much mirror today’s times with the very rich running the lives of the middle and working classes.

“[The comparison comes] with the specter of depression hanging over our heads,” he said.

Maher said the story has much humor and he wants the audience to have fun and be entertained. He also wants them to be moved by the plight of the Cratchits, who represent all families struggling to stay together and maintain their dignity through tough times.

“I want them to hear and be changed by — if only for a little bit — the story that Charles Dickens wrote so many years ago,” he said.

SE drama student Marshan Brooks plays Peter Cratchit. Fezzywig’s Ball is also his favorite scene because everyone can see the chemistry among the cast members.

“It’s everyone together, and we are a big happy family,” he said.

SE drama student Geoff Sykes portrays Scrooge of Christmas Present in the drama.

Sykes said he relates to his character because Scrooge reaches a point where he has to decide whether he is going to seek the truth or not.

Christmas Present finds his joy the moment he realizes he has a chance to change the future he was shown, Sykes said.

“He starts to wonder what he needs to do to be happy,” he said.

Sykes said Maher has been a great leader, and he appreciates the respect he has for the artistic process of rehearsal.

“He is really cool,” Sykes said.

A Christmas Carol performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Admission to the show is free for TCC students, faculty and staff, $6 for general admission and $3 for seniors and other students.

For reservations, call the box office at 817-515-3599.

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