This A Christmas Carol goes beyond other adaptations with a unique dramatic concept: At the opening curtain, Charles Dickens himself is introduced to the audience, ready to present one of the famed platform readings of his stories that packed auditoriums in Europe and America. Of course, the story chosen is one which he often performed, A Christmas Carol (Dickens' marked-up script still exists!). The story unfolds behind him, and soon Dickens is weaving in and out of the action, observing, performing small roles, interpolating short passages of rich narrative never heard in other versions. He handles props and helps Scrooge and others with costume changes. Originally conceived for Mr. Jakes' home stage, the Hilton Head Playhouse, the play is supremely flexible in cast and design. The piece includes "God Bless Us Every One,"* a lovely new carol by Jakes and Tony-nominated composer Mel Marvin, as well as suggestions for placement of incidental music. Jim Volz, former managing director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival where the play received its professional premiere, says of it: "In John Jakes' hands, A Christmas Carol recaptures the magic and mystique of the Dickens original. It is a brilliant script."
Read an Excerpt
- A Carol for Tiny Tim
- The Christmas Carol
- The Christmas Corral
- A Country Christmas Carol (Kaehler)
- A Hillbilly Christmas Carol
- A Christmas Carol (Touring, Jakes)
- The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge
- A Christmas Carol (King)
- Carol * A Christmas
- A Christmas Carol (One-act, McDonough)
- A Country Christmas Carol (Nelson)
- A Christmas Carol (Musical, Kornhauser/Barnett)
- A Christmas Carol: The Traditional Story With Modern Music
- A Christmas Carol (Radio Manuscript, Grecian)
- Type of Show Full-length Play
- Product Code CA4000
- Cast Size 23
- Min. Royalty Rate $100/perf
- Cost $10.95
- Approx. Run Time 90 min
- Target Audience Young Audiences | High School | College and Adult | Family (all ages) | Senior Adults
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre | Community Theatre | Professional Theatre | Dinner Theatre
- Genre Drama
- ISBN(13) 9780871298133
- "The play was most empowering."
- Review by Manuel Leybas, Casa Grande Union High School, Casa Grande, AZ
- "Well written with good directorial advice and directions."
- Review by Liz Condray, Salem Senior High School, Salem, MO
- "It was performed by 21 music theatre students in conjunction with a stage design class and a fashion class. The crowds were great and compliments were abundant. I was so proud of the beautiful show that was produced."
- Review by Kim Dafoe, Center Hastings High School, Madoc, Ontario, Canada
- "Becoming a yearly traditionÑto see and to be in. A family-friendly holiday production that leaves our audiences crying and laughing. Can be as simple or as elaborate as you can make it."
- Review by Donna Chalmers, LCOG, Lawrenceville, Ga.
- "Excellent version of A Christmas Carol. The script flows well, and making Dickens a character in the play works very well. The play does a good job of pulling the emotional strings of the audience. The funny parts are very funny and the serious parts are very serious. A great play if you want your audience to laugh, cry and be frightened in a two-hour performance. I highly recommend it!"
- Review by David Wilson, Liberty Productions, St. Charles, Mo.
- "Mr. Jakes has woven a nice, tight version of A Christmas Carol that brings together many of the scenes from the book. The play flows more like a series of montages than a storyÑalmost like the flickering of a dream."
- Review by Phillip Leipf, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, N.J.
- "A big play with lots of sets and costumes. Very colorful and enjoyed by all ages. Plenty of roles for men but we used girls as Ghosts 1 and 2. The cast and audience enjoyed the costumes and the timeless story of redemption."
- Review by Andrea Croskery, Smiles and Frowns Playhouse, Greenville, N.C.
- "Jakes' A Christmas Carol was a huge success for us at Swamp Meadow. People enjoyed Dickens' participation in the play and the deeper insight into how Ebenezer became Scrooge. It was fun to produce and wonderfully received."
- Review by Bob Hollis, Swamp Meadow Community Theatre, Foster, R.I.
- "It is a brilliant script."
- Review by Jim Volz, former managing director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "Mood is everything! We decorated the foyer, the gymnasium, had music playing as people enteredÑit really adds to the professionalism of the show."
- Tip by Kim Dafoe, Center Hastings High School, Madoc, Ontario, Canada
- "For the Door Knocker scene, we used a concrete mold of a lion's face that we obtained from eBay. It was the same size as a human face. We painted the face gold and made an 8 x 12 hinged opening in the door with the lion's face attached. We covered the opening with pantyhose and, at the proper moment, Marley would open the small door and replace the lion's face with his own. The pantyhose made him look more ghostly."
- Tip by David Wilson, Liberty Productions, St. Charles, Mo.
- "The scenes flow very quickly from one to the next. Care needs to be taken that set changes can be very fast, indeed. There are at least 12 scene changes in this 90-minute show, or a change every nine minutes or so. I suggest minimalism and wheels."
- Tip by Phillip Leipf, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, N.J.
- "Using tech options of lighting, sound effects, drop box, flying candles, bells, bedcovers, fog machine does a lot to enhance the production."
- Tip by Bob Hollis, Swamp Meadow Community Theatre, Foster, R.I.