Totem Pole Playhouse will premiere its original adaptation of the family holiday classic A Christmas Carol for the 2016 holiday season at the Majestic Theater in Gettysburg December 8-18. The annual production will boast a large cast of 53 local professional and community actors.
Totem Pole’s A Christmas Carol was first presented from 1987 through 2004 and returned in 2014 to the Capitol Theater in Chambersburg, PA after a ten year hiatus. Totem Pole moved the production to the Majestic Theater in 2015, where it will remain through 2019.
A Christmas Carol is an original adaptation by Totem Pole Playhouse Producing Artistic Director Rowan Joseph, who directs the show. Much of the text and dialogue is preserved verbatim from the original novel by Charles Dickens. Joseph has said his goal was to create the perfect annual holiday event for the whole family which celebrates the true meaning of Christmas, “There is so much commercialization of Christmas that many people have come to view it as a shopping holiday rather than a religious one, but this is the antidote to that, no matter how many times you see it. We have literally created a show that a 90-year old can bring a 9-year old to and they will both thoroughly enjoy it…sadly, that’s very rare these days.”
The show is a family affair for a number of cast members this year with siblings, parents and children joining each other on stage. Gettysburg sisters Kalia and Liliana Hoedemaker return to the cast as Belle’s daughter and a party dancer, respectively. Brothers Jasper and Elliot Wakefield, of McConnellsburg, also return to take another turn as Cratchit brothers Matthew and Peter. Elliot also portrays Dick Wilkins as a boy. Five local parents will also be joined on stage by their children. Gettysburg’s Chris Kauffman and Emily Windover will make their A Christmas Carol debut as a merchant and Mrs. Fezziwig respectively, while daughters Ruby and Phoebe will be party guests and dancers, and daughter Mia will portray Want. New Oxford’s Marc Kleinman (lamplighter), Glenn Meyers of Hanover (man in street couple), and Chambersburg’s Lee Merriman (Charity Man) also join the cast this year and will be accompanied on stage by Kleinman’s son Jacob, portraying Ignorance, Meyers’ daughter Alyssa, who is a party guest and dancer, and Merriman’s daughter Jocelyn, portraying Belinda Cratchit.
Shippensburg University theater professor, Paris Peet, will reprise his role as ‘Ebenezer Scrooge’ again this year. He is a member of Actors Equity Association and has appeared at numerous regional theatres including The Alley Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, Charlotte Repertory Company, The Houston Shakespeare Festival, and The East Carolina Playhouse. He has also appeared in leading roles in many Totem Pole summer productions, most recently last season’s musical comedy A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Shane Partlow, who also appeared in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, will return as ‘Bob Cratchit’ as well. Equity member, Richard Sautter, who for the last several years has taught at Gettysburg College and Messiah College and appeared in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, will portray Old Joe. Local Equity members rounding out the cast are Misty Coy as ‘Mrs. Dilber,’ and Rowan Joseph as ‘Mr. Fezziwig.’
Gettysburg resident J. Edward Riggs will portray ‘Marley’s Ghost,’ while Chuck Lambert, of York, will appear as ‘The Spirit of Christmas Present.’ Megan Lee Miller, of Gettysburg, joins the cast as ‘The Spirit of Christmas Past. Professional violinist Scott Matlock, a member of local band Mountain Ride, joins the cast to offer live fiddle music. In addition, nearly three dozen local actors will be on stage including Gettysburg residents Andrew Cowan, Elizabeth DeVito, Daphne Ellis, Brandon Glatfelter, Anna Kurtz, Emma Lewis, Troy Morgan and Aubryanna Tayman; Chambersburg residents Linda Mulewich, Ella Snyder, Tom Trgovac, and BrytonZook; Shippensburg residents Mackenzie Brouse, Cole Nissley, Denzel Surcica, and Donovan Yaukey; Linden Carbaugh of Fairfield; Joan Crooks of Westminster, MD; Gaven Dingle of Waynesboro; Anne Elizabeth Hunt of Hagerstown, MD; Ian Kress of Littlestown; Maxwell Owens and Emily Smallwood, both of Thurmont, MD; Madison Prin of Hanover; Jackie Rebok of Windsor, MD; Luke Reed of Lenox, MA; and Andrew Zabetakis of Frederick, MD.
Totem Pole Playhouse’s Producing Artistic Director, Rowan Joseph, will direct the production and Chad-Alan Carr, Executive Artistic Director of the Gettysburg Community Theatre, will serve as choreographer and assistant director. Equity Stage Manager, Bob Tolaro, will serve as production stage manager for the show. Totem Pole’s long time scenic designer, Jim Fouchard, will design the set with the Majestic Theater’s Technical Director, Jonathan Stiles, serving as lighting designer for the production. Veteran Totem Pole designer Tom Ryan will handle special effects design, Jacob Arbutus will provide sound design, and costumer Jackie Rebok will outfit the 53 actors taking part in the production. Totem Pole Playhouse Production Manager Robert Towarnicki will serve as assistant stage manager and take the stage as ‘The Spirit of Christmas Future.’
The performances are scheduled for December 8, 9, 10, 15, 16 and 17 at 8:00 PM with matinees on December 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, and 18 at 2:00 PM. Ticket prices range from $30 to $36 for adults, and $20 for students (age 18 or younger). Totem Pole Playhouse season subscribers receive a $10.00 discount on ticket purchases.
To purchase tickets call the Majestic Theater Box Office at 717-337-8200.