UWF produces “A Christmas Carol”
Every year around the holiday season, a certain story reminds people to open their hearts and be generous, charitable and hospitable to those less fortunate.
It is a story that was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and helped restore the holiday season to a time of joy and kindness. UWF will perform “A Christmas Carol” beginning in early December.
The tale, about a man who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve who instill in him a sense of innocence and benevolence, has been adapted countless times into various television shows, movies and plays. This year’s performance is a faithful adaptation to the story, brought to life on the UWF mainstage theatre.
This is the fourth year that UWF has produced the play and the production has always been well received by both the campus and Pensacola community.
Glenn Breed, though a first-time director of the play, has had some sort of involvement with it for 11 years.
“It’s a staple of the holiday season,” Breed said. “The productions have all always gone well in the past, and one hopes to continue on that success this year.”
Breed spoke about the timelessness of the play and its constant relevance to today’s audience, stating, “I think the story is still universal. It’s worth mentioning that the original novella has never been out of print, since its original publication.”
Josh Taylor, who is a stand-in for the Scrooge character, is a theatre major at UWF and describes himself as “sort of a junior.” He remarked about the experience thus far and how it has helped him find himself.
“It’s one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had in the theatre,” Taylor said. “I’ve realized a lot about myself and have gained self-confidence.”
Herman Johansen is a professional actor from Kansas City, Mo., who has been recruited to play the part of Scrooge. He has been in the business for 35 years, yet this is his first time playing the part.
“It’s one of those classic roles,” Johansen said. “It’s a fun role, a timeless show and I’m pretty pumped.”
The crew and cast start rehearsals one month prior to opening night, and they host open auditions for audience members beforehand who may want to participate in the classic production. Breed believes this is important for the university’s image and for the quality of the play.
“It’s great to work with such a great group of talented kids,” said Breed. “We get a lot of great community people involved, which helps with exposure for the university.”
The play is at UWF’s Center for Fine & Performing Arts mainstage theatre Dec. 2 through 5, and again Dec. 9 through 12. The show times are 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. on Sundays.
For more information, visit the CFPA web site at http://uwf.edu/cfpa/index.cfm.