Play and lyrics by Richard Wade
Music by Dick Gessner
December 6–16, 2012
Run time: 90 minutes
Colonial Players is pleased to present our traditional holiday show, A Christmas Carol. Warm your heart to the music, characters, and story of Scrooge’s redemption through the visits of the Ghosts of his Christmases Past, Present, and Future. Travel with him through time and the streets of the London of 170 years ago to discover the true meaning of Christmas and rekindle your holiday spirit.
About the Author
Richard Wade has written the book and lyrics for at least a dozen musicals, including A Christmas Carol, which was first produced by The Colonial Players in 1981. He has directed many shows in summer stock, community college, dinner theater, and at Colonial Players, including The Music Man; Inherit the Wind; Hello, Dolly!; Our Town; She Loves Me; The Dresser; Amadeus; Driving Miss Daisy; Private Lives; and A Christmas Carol. He lives in Arnold.
About the Composer
Richard Gessner collaborated with Richard Wade to write the music for A Christmas Carol and also wrote music for Wade’s adaptations of children’s musicals Pinocchio, Puss ‘n Boots, Rumpelstiltskin, and Treasure Island. A popular entertainer in the Annapolis area for many years, Gessner is now retired and living in Florida. He served as musical director for many productions in Maryland, including Carnival, Fiddler on the Roof, and My Fair Lady at Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre and Little Mary Sunshine; The Apple Tree; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; The Contrast; and Carnival at Colonial Players.
About the Director
Jill Sharpe Compton has worked on and off stage for over 50 years since her first role in grade school as one of the “three little kittens who lost their mittens.” Jill met her husband, Roger, during the first A Christmas Carol production at Colonial Players in 1981. They went on to participate in A Christmas Carol for 15 years before moving to New York for 13 years. While in New York, Jill studied musical theater at the Manhattan School of Music, performed in local theater, regional theater, two national tours, and directed the first two musicals at Webb Institute (the elite college of naval architecture). After returning to Maryland, Jill returned to Colonial Players as Hannah in The Spitfire Grill and more recently performed as one of “the Divas” in Jerry’s Girls in Rehoboth, DE and Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre. In real life, Jill has been a physical therapist for many years. She is pleased to be back at Colonial Players and working with her favorite leading man and music director. “Many thanks to the production staff, dance captain, pianist, cast, and many helpers too numerous to mention. All your assistance and hard work are greatly appreciated. God bless you everyone!!”
About the Music Director
After 13 years without a “Hilli-Ho Chirrup” while serving as academic dean of one of America’s best kept college secrets, Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in Glen Cove, NY, Roger Compton (or Bob Cratchit, as he was known for 15 years) is delighted to be back home in Maryland and to be involved again with A Christmas Carol. While in New York, he returned to his primary musical interest (i.e., the musical in musical theater) by founding the Webb Family Singers – a mixed chorus of students and staff, numbering as many as 30 singers (from a total student body of about 80) – and directing the musical aspects of two shows directed by Jill Compton. Do you detect a pattern with this production of A Christmas Carol? Roger sings with the Annapolis Chorale and, with Jill, has founded a community chorus in Prospect Bay, where they reside and enjoy boating on the Bay and golfing.
2012 is not only the 200th anniversary of the war of 1812, but also the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens. Dickens, well known through his writings as an opponent of the social injustices so prevalent in Victorian times, was also a proponent of Christmas. He completed A Christmas Carol in just six weeks, his first complete novel not written in installments, and he helped create many of the Christmas traditions we still celebrate today. Dickens enjoyed hosting holiday revelries that friends and family looked forward to with great anticipation. Like looking forward to unpacking a favorite Christmas ornament every year, we have looked forward with great anticipation to returning to Colonial Players and helping to unwrap A Christmas Carol again.
As Dickens, himself, said:
“I have endeavored in this ghostly little book to raise the ghost of an Idea which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their house pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it.
Their faithful Friend and Servant,
Ted Dietz (Shopkeeper Brown/Lamplighter) -- Ted is the original drummer for A Christmas Carol and played the show for the first 12 years. You will hear him on the recorded music used for the show this year. He was on stage for two years as one of the Gentleman and is Shopkeeper Brown for this production. In addition to A Christmas Carol, Ted played drums for Tricks, 70 Girls 70, and Fiorello to name a few, was on stage in The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail, and was stage manager for On Golden Pond. When not performing with Colonial Players, Ted sings with the Annapolis Opera Chorus, drums for the Federal City Brass Band, and is a Cantor at St. John The Evangelist Catholic Church in Severna Park. Ted is happy to be with us again as he says, “It just isn’t Christmas without A Christmas Carol at Colonial Players.”
Doug Dillner (Mr. Fezziwig) -- Dr. D. is, once again, pleased to be cast in this fine play. In the past he has played the parts of Scrooge, Marley’s Ghost, and the Undertaker’s Man (as well as some other smaller parts). Being retired from teaching chemistry at the Naval Academy has afforded him more time to be involved in Carol, and he is honored to be cast. He has much to thank his wife for in all the support she gives in his time away from the family for this work. He also wants to thank Jesus Christ for his gifts that he can share with you this evening, for without those gifts (that he says he does not deserve) he could not be with you here. “God bless all of you, and, in closing, as Tiny Tim reminds us, ‘God bless us, every one!’”
Andrea L. Elward (Laundress) -- Drea is a local instructor, entertainer, performer, and recording artist. Active in the local theater community for over 30 years, she has appeared in the Ruby Griffith Award winning productions of Enter the Guardsman with The Colonial Players and Mame with 2nd Star Productions. Other performance credits include featured roles in Jekyll & Hyde, Assassins, Anything Goes, Annie, Me and My Girl, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Chicago, and A Chorus Line. As a workshop instructor, director, and choreographer, she has enjoyed bringing shows like The Wiz; You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown; Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs; Godspell JR.; and Honk! JR. into the lives of young actors in and around the Annapolis area. In addition to performing on the community theater stage, Drea can be found singing with the best rocked up R&B blue-eyed soul band, “JoyRide.”
Patti Grieb-Poling (Ghost of Christmas Past) -- Patti is happy to once again be part of CP's A Christmas Carol. This is her 12th time appearing in the show, beginning in 1995 as Fred’s wife. Over the years she has played multiple characters including Mrs. Fezziwig, Laundress, Charwoman, Party Guest, Caroler, and the Ghost of Christmas Past. Other recent performances have been with Riverside Theatre in A Christmas Carol, the Musical as Mrs. Fezziwig, Narrator, Solicitor, and Fred’s wife. Patti has also enjoyed performing in several murder mysteries, the last with BCT in the fall of 2011. While acting is a definite lifelong love for her, Patti's main loves are her hubby, Steven, her four fantastic kids, and her grandchildren. Family and her full time job as a dental office manager ensure that she never has a dull moment. She wants to thank everyone in cast and crew for making this such a warm, memorable experience.
Duncan Hood (Scrooge) -- Merry Christmas to you all! This show has a long and venerable tradition, and Duncan is honored to be part of it this year. He thanks Judi, Rick, Jill, Roger, and all of the team for taking a chance and letting him join in this wonderful tradition. Duncan recently appeared in the 2011 Clint Eastwood film J Edgar as the radio announcer. Over the past 20 years, he has performed roles as Emcee in Cabaret, Flint in Something’s Afoot, The Man in 52 Pickup, The Playwright in Enter the Guardsman, Van Sweiten in Amadeus, Jethro Crouch in Sly Fox, Michael in Dancing at Lughnasa, The Narrator in Blood Brothers, Inspector Rough in Angel Street, Hysterium twice and Pseudolus once in three productions of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Major General in two productions of Pirates of Penzance, Pap in Big River, Porter and Ross in Macbeth, and Dr Kalmar in Studio Theatre’s production of A New Brain. Voiceover credits include national and regional commercials as well as book and industrial projects. Video game credits include three characters in Star Trek, Next Generation; and five characters in Fallout 3 by Bethesda Softworks. Duncan has been an international sailing instructor trainer for the American Sailing Association for 28 years and holds a USCG Master’s license.
Eric Hufford (Fred/Young Scrooge) -- Eric is excited to once again be a part of a Colonial Players production! He was involved in theater during high school up through his freshman year of college, where he played Tom in Schoolhouse Rock Live! He reconnected with his love for theater last summer as Pharaoh in Drama Learning Center’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Recent theater credits include Daniel Beauxhomme in Red Branch Theatre’s Once on This Island, Sheriff Joe Sutter in Colonial Players’ Spitfire Grill, and Richard Henry Lee in Pasadena Theatre Company’s 1776. "I'd like to give a big thank you to all of my friends who continually come out and support all of my performances. It means a lot to me. Enjoy the show!"
Ethan Goldberg (Undertakers’s Man, Dick Wilkins, Mistletoe Man) -- Ethan lives the American dream as a student who serves by day and acts by night. He is thrilled to be back at CP for his fourth show. He previously appeared at CP as the wacky busboy guy in She Loves Me, as Mr. Wollcott in The Christmas Doll, and as Jan Warwick In last year’s The Unexpected Guest. Ethan has performed elsewhere in Something’s Afoot at 2nd Star, Anything Goes at ASGT, Rent at Laurel Playhouse, and Urinetown at AACC. To avoid leaving anyone out, Ethan would like to thank everyone at CP for always allowing him to come back and do what he loves. He also wants to take this time to give a special shout out to Sam, Stuart, and Brooke for always being there for him. "Love you guys." Ethan hopes you enjoy the show and wishes everybody a Merry Christmas, but most importantly a Happy Chanukah.
Clifford Jamieson (Young Scrooge/Turkey Boy) Clifford is a 7th grader at Severna Park Middle School. This is his first production with The Colonial Players. Clifford performed in the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis (CTA) productions of Willy Wonka and Alice in Wonderland. He thanks his “Stage Dad” for dragging him to his first audition. He also thanks mother Sarah Jamieson (ensemble in this show) for making everyday life at home a performance. “Walk-er!”
Sarah Jamieson (Fred’s Party Guest/Aunt) -- Sarah is excited to be in her first stage role ever. She is a rehab physician at Anne Arundel Medical Center and has a private practice in Severna Park. Sarah is the mother of two boys, Marston (15) and Clifford (13, Turkey Boy). Sarah enjoys swimming, gardening, and oil painting, and is an avid reader.
Betty Lasner (Mrs. Fezziwig) -- Christmas has always been Betty’s favorite holiday. Being able to help bring A Christmas Carol to life with Colonial Players is a bonus. Betty is delighted to be able to Hilli-Ho with Mr. Fezz again this year. From Aunt Eller in Oklahoma to Diana in California Suite, Felicia in I Hate Hamlet, etc., etc., it has been a blast. Betty has been an RN for over 40 years and is now helping people improve their lives through hypnosis. “Many thanks to everyone, cast and crew, for sharing this time. Merry Christmas!”
Chris Leabhart (Bob Cratchit) -- Chris is thrilled to be doing his second show on the Colonial Players stage. He loves A Christmas Carol and is honored to be playing the same role Kermit the Frog played 18 years ago. He plans to move to Chicago this year to study theater at the Second City, with an end goal of working on Sesame Street. He would like to dedicate this show to his mother because there is NO cussing in it. “Thank you all for joining us on this Haunting Christmas Adventure! Enjoy, God Bless, and Happy Christmas to all!”
Holly Miller (Fanny) --Although this is Holly's first time on stage, technically she was in this show eight years ago in her mommy's tummy! She is having so much fun and hopes this will be the first of many shows for her. In her spare time, she enjoys playing Angry Birds, watching movies, and doing her math homework. She would like to say an extra big thank you to Nana for coming all the way from England to see her first show.
Kaelynn Miller (Belle/Fred's Wife) -- Kaelynn is delighted to be back on the CP stage in such a merry show about her favorite holiday! Previous on stage credits include Moonlight and Magnolias (Miss Poppenghul) and Little Women (Meg), with behind-the-scenes credits on too many shows to name. At CP, Kaelynn serves as Treasurer and Membership Chair. She pays her bills by working as a customer service representative in the music industry, which sort of actually relates to her degree in Music and Vocal Performance. Kaelynn wishes a Christmas season full of hot cocoa and hippopotamuses to all the people who make her smile on a daily basis.
Lesley Miller (Mrs. Cratchit) -- Lesley played Mrs. Cratchit from 2002 to 2005 and is so excited to be back in the role after a seven-year absence. In the 2004 production, she was six months pregnant with her daughter Holly, who is sharing the stage with her this year! Much love to the cast and crew.”I had forgotten how much fun this is!” Big hugs to her hubby Jeffrey, her younger daughter Emma (maybe you can join us next time!), and to her biggest fan - Mum. “Thank you for coming all this way to see us. Bless us all!”
Shirley Panek (Fundraiser) -- Shirley is pleased to be part of such a long-standing Colonial Players tradition. While this is her first turn in A Christmas Carol, she has lent her alto voice to two other CP musicals -- Little Women (Mrs. Kirk/Ensemble), and Is There Life After High School? Audiences may also remember her from other CP shows including The Unexpected Guest (Laura Warwick), Miss Framer (Lettice and Lovage), Sybl Chase (Private Lives), and Kaye (Dog Logic). She'd like to thank both Jill and Roger for a lovely experience and the rest of the talented cast for such fun during rehearsals. Love to Drew, Emma, and Jeff.
Ashley Rolf (Belinda Cratchit) -- Ashley is an 8th grader at Severna Park Middle School. She is delighted to join the cast of A Christmas Carol in her first Colonial Players production. Some of her favorite roles in past shows include Jojo (Seussical/Spartan Lyrical Society) and Oliver (Oliver Twist/Shipley’s Choice Elementary). Ashley is a former chorister for the Peabody Children’s Chorus and currently sings in the Pop Choir at Severna Park Middle. When not performing, she enjoys field hockey, swimming, riding roller coasters, and shopping with friends. Ashley sends special thanks to her voice teacher Deborah Brown for encouraging her to audition for this production. She also thanks her family and friends for their love and support!
Marisa Roper (Martha Cratchit) -- Music isn't really something that Marisa does. It's become more of a lifestyle for her now! She has been involved in theater since fourth grade. Her first role was the Queen of Hearts in her school's production of Alice in Wonderland. She participated in National Youth Choir three years in row. “I would like to thank my wonderful voice teacher Mrs. Brown; my choral conductors, Mrs. Bennet and Mr. Campbell; Mr. Whewell, who taught me everything I know about acting; the wonderful directors here at Colonial Players; and, most of all, my family for being so supportive of me throughout my musical career.
Andrew "Drew" Sharpe (Tiny Tim) - An active 4th grader at Rolling Knolls Elementary, Drew is very excited to be playing in his 2nd production of A Christmas Carol with Colonial Players. Drew first appeared as Boy Ebenezer in the 2010 production. Besides acting, he also enjoys singing. He was selected to sing the youth solo in Mendelssohn's Elijah with The Annapolis Summer Choral Festival this past summer. Drew is a treble singer with the All Children's Chorus of Annapolis and also sings with choirs at church and school. He also plays the piano and the violin. Some of his favorite music groups include: The Beatles, Coldplay, Styx, and Journey. Outside of the arts, he's a normal, active 10-year-old who likes Batman and Legos. He attributes his musical abilities to his family and music teachers. Thanks to the directors for believing in him to play this role! Bless Us....everyone!
Daniel Starnes (Peter Cratchit) - Daniel is a 9th grade honor roll student at Southern High School ,where he most enjoys chorus and history. Over the years Daniel has participated in all-county and all-state choruses. He has appeared in various community theater productions. Some of his favorite roles have been in Aladdin JR. (Aladdin), The Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow), Annie (Rooster), and The Annapolis Chorale’s Sound of Music (Friedrich). Daniel is thrilled to be in his fifth year with the Colonial Players' Christmas productions. Having played Tim, Turkey Boy, Ghost of Christmas Past, and now Peter, Daniel has set a goal to play every speaking male role in his favorite adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Daniel would like to thank this year's directors Jill and Roger Compton, the cast and crew, his voice teacher Marlene Billars, teachers, friends, and family for supporting his desire to perform.
Fred Taylor (Marley/Ghost of Christmas Yet-To-Come) -- Fred is excited to return to the Colonial Players stage, where he has appeared in A Christmas Carol and several other CP productions over the years. He has also performed with Pasadena Theatre Company and St. Mark's Dinner Theater. He failed retirement in 1996 and currently works as "the voice" of UMBC basketball and is a tour guide for Watermark. He is the Official Town Crier for Annapolis and will represent the "City of Anne" in the World Invitational Town Crier Championship in Ontario, Canada in August 2013. He dedicates his performance to all young and young at heart, especially his grandchildren whom he loves endlessly. “To my entire support team from Catonsville to Durham, N.C., and everywhere in between, I Love You ALL. Lastly, to the entire A Christmas Carol production team, backstage crew, and terrific cast, a gazillion thank yous. God Bless Everyone! Merry Christmas!”
Vince van Joolen (Fundraiser/Fred’s Party Guest) -- Vince is making his fifth appearance in A Christmas Carol. Previous roles included the Ghost of Christmas Present, Mr Fezziwig, and the Undertaker’s Man. He has also appeared on the Colonial Theater Stage in The Battle of Shallowford, Death of a Salesman, Jekyll and Hyde, and Company. He sings baritone with the Annapolis Opera Chorus and will appear in Rigoletto in March. He wishes all a "Gelukkig kerstfeest".
Sarah Wade (Charwoman) -- Sarah was most recently seen on the Colonial Players stage in the one-act festival as Ionesco in The Shepherd's Chameleon and Girl in Starcrossed. This summer, she played Bet and Widow Sowerberry in Oliver! at the Compass Rose Studio Theater, as well as sound designing their productions of The Miracle Worker and To Kill a Mockingbird. Her previous roles in A Christmas Carol include Turkey Boy, Martha, and Belle. She would like to thank her friends and family for putting up with the phrase "I can’t, I have rehearsal" all the time. “All my love!”
Ed Wintermute (The Ghost of Christmas Present) -- Ed appeared as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the original production of A Christmas Carol at Colonial Players in 1981 and continued to perform in that show each year except 2007, usually in his original role. He has also appeared as Scrooge, Gentlemen #1 and #2, the Undertaker’s Man, and Mr. Fezziwig. His most recent role at CP was Mr. Laurence in Little Women. CP audiences have also seen him in The Philadelphia Story, Of Mice and Men, Hogan's Goat, Fiorello!, and Macbeth. He regularly performs and sings in productions and concerts in the local theater and music community.
The Production Staff
Lois Banscher (Assistant to the Directors) -- With A Christmas Carol, Lois is undertaking something new as assistant to Director Jill Compton and Musical Director Roger Compton. Now in her third season at Colonial Players, she has previously worked on collecting props for eight CP shows. Lois has filled the stage with authentic props secured from as nearby as the CP prop room and as far away as England. Many thank yous to everyone who has helped along this journey. And, that's no "Walk-er!"
Julie Bays (Costume Designer) -- Julie has enjoyed Colonial Players since she was a child growing up in Annapolis. It has always been a great experience working on shows at CP. Her favorite shows she costumed for CP were Fences, I Hate Hamlet, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and Little Women. She has costumed many shows at Children’s Theatre of Annapolis and most recently costumed Oliver and To Kill a Mockingbird at Compass Rose Studio Theater. She is thankful for her supportive family.
Wes Bedsworth (Sound Designer) -- Wes has been involved with more than 30 different productions at Colonial Players since he joined CP in 2007. He won the 2010 WATCH award for outstanding sound design for Earth and Sky and has been nominated for best sound design for Hauptmann, Kindertransport, and The Diviners. Wes serves as Operations Director on the CP Board, Technical Director on the Production Team, and as one of the CP Webmasters. He works as a senior systems engineer in Washington, D.C, and also sings in two choirs at his church. Wes would like to thank his parents, sister Susan, and girlfriend Kaelynn for their love and support.
Peter N. Crews (Choreographer) -- Peter has been an active part of the Maryland/Virginia theater community for more than 30 years. He began his training and performing with Children’s Theatre of Annapolis (CTA), earned a BA in Dramatic Arts from St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and has since performed, instructed, and choreographed primarily on the East Coast for both professional and community theater companies. Peter performed on stage at CP in The Sunshine Boys, Closer Than Ever, and Is There Life after High School?. Other choreography credits: Marvelous Wonderettes, Anything Goes, Forever Plaid, Cinderella, Calamity Jane, Wizard of Oz, Bugsy Malone JR., and The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Peter thanks Vince, family, and friends, both far and near, for your unending support. Enjoy!
Harvey Hack (Lighting Designer) -- Harvey has been running and designing lights since 1973, primarily at Colonial Players. His recent lighting credits have included A Christmas Carol (twice), Dearly Departed, Romantic Comedy, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, Moon Over Buffalo, The Violet Hour, Over My Dead Body, Two Rooms, Private Lives, Mrs. California, Company, Spitfire Grill, and Going to St. Ives. He has served several times as CP’s Lighting Consultant. Harvey appeared on stage once as a Gentleman in A Christmas Carol. An Arnold resident, he works as a metallurgist doing corrosion engineering for Northrop Grumman Corporation in Annapolis.
JoAnn Gidos (Properties Designer) -- Another year with A Christmas Carol and another delightful experience with this wonderful production. “From the time my grandgirls were participating to the current effort, it's always been so much fun to work with new and old friends as we enter the holiday season. MERRY CHRISTMAS.
Andy McLendon (Stage Manager) -- Andy has worn the stage manager hat for numerous productions at Colonial Players. She is really excited to have the opportunity to work with Jill and Roger Compton for their first directorial venture upon returning to Annapolis. Many thanks to the staff and cast for making A Christmas Carol such a wonderful start to the holidays.
Judi Wobensmith (Producer) -- Judi has been involved in more than 150 productions in the Annapolis/DC area over the last 40 plus years both on and off the stage. She has produced shows at Colonial Players, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, and Petrucci’s to name a few. Previous directing credits include: A Christmas Carol (four times at CP), The Music Man, Gigi, The King and I, Carnival, Marriages, Something’s Afoot (at Colonial Players and 2nd Star Productions),The Sunshine Boys, and Mrs. California among others. She has served three terms on the Board of Directors at CP, Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre, and Children’s Theatre of Annapolis and has appeared in various TV commercials and documentaries. Judi spends her spare time working at the House of Delegates in Annapolis. She would like to thank the production staff of A Christmas Carol for performing above and beyond and for their tremendous support!
About the Preshow Music
Mannheim Steamroller creates and performs unique, tasteful, yet very contemporary arrangements of well-known Christmas carols that have been important parts of our Holiday celebrations since Dickens’ time. The lyrics for “Deck the Halls” were written during the initial wave of popularity of “A Christmas Carol.” “Angels We Have Heard on High” was first published in a collection of French carols in 1855. The text of “Joy to the World” was set to a currently known tune in 1839. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” was explicitly used by Dickens in A Christmas Carol when Scrooge hears it sung jauntily in the street outside of his office and threatens to hit the singer with a ruler if he does not cease immediately. “O Little Town of Bethlehem” was composed in 1868. “Silent Night” was written and first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818. As you enter the theater, please let this music sweep over you and let your 21st Century stress and fast-paced, multi-tasking life “chill.” Return with us to mid-19th Century England.