Kansas City Repertory Theatre continues its 2019/20 season with a beloved holiday tradition, Charles Dickens’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. This year’s production is an adaptation by Geoff Elliott with direction from KCRep Associate Artistic Director Jason Chanos. A CHRISTMAS CAROL begins previews Friday, November 22, opens Saturday, November 30 at 8 pm, and continues through Sunday, December 29. Performances take place at Spencer Theatre on the UMKC campus.
This season’s A CHRISMAS CAROL returns with all the heart and spectacle Kansas Citians have come to love over the past decades. Many well-known and beloved Kansas City actors return to the production, with Gary Neal Johnson lending his well-crafted performance of Ebenezer Scrooge to help Kansas City residents celebrate another joyous staging of this classic story of charity and redemption.
“As someone who’s performed in the show and assistant-directed it in the past, I’m very intimate with the piece and am thrilled to give Kansas City an A CHRISTMAS CAROL that’s filled with dazzling sights and heart-touching moments,” says Jason Chanos. “If you’ve seen this production in the past, you’ll love our classic take on everybody’s holiday favorite, and if this will be your first time with us, we can’t wait to welcome you and your family to take part in this holiday tradition.”
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is a novella by Charles Dickens that tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge on his redemptive journey with Christmas Past (Vanessa Severo), Present (Matthew Rapport), and Future (Taylor Harlow), to rediscover the true meaning of the holidays. You’ll meet the Cratchits, Tiny Tim, and the irresistible Fezziwigs, and hear the joyous Candlelight Carol — all this and more, to kindle your Christmas spirit.
KCRep’s 2019 production features jubilant music and dancing, breathtaking costumes, a perennial glitter row and a soaring set that has become a trademark of KCRep productions.
Patrons are invited to arrive early to enjoy the festive lobby—take their pictures in front of a 20-foot-tall Christmas Tree, enjoy holiday-themed snacks and drinks, and enjoy pre-show carols sung by members of the cast.
KCRep Artistic Director, Stuart Carden, expressed his excitement to join in this joyful Kansas City tradition for the first time. “My wife, Neysa, and our eight-year-old twins are full of holiday excitement in anticipation of our first A CHRISTMAS CAROL at KCRep. Charles Dickens’ beloved classic in a fresh adaptation by Geoff Elliot and directed by Jason Chanos promises to delight with new surprises, musical merriment, and boundless good cheer as we share in Ebenezer’s miraculous transformation. My family and I are thrilled to join in this festive holiday tradition,” says Carden.
Since Charles Dickens first shared the story of A CHRISTMAS CAROL over 150 years ago, theatres across the world have continued to tell this story during the holiday season, in part to remind communities of the ever-present issue of poverty and hunger.
As two iconic Kansas City institutions, Harvesters and KCRep will engage in a Community Partnership around the ‘hunger initiative.’ Through digital and social media marketing and a food drive, the two organizations will create an awareness campaign and bring new relevance to the play, reminding audiences that there are some in our communities who continue to live hungry and encourage them to support the mission of Harvesters by donating food.
“We are grateful to KCRep for this partnership and for hosting a food drive to feed our hungry neighbors,” said Valerie Nicholson-Watson, Harvesters’ President and CEO. “Poverty and hunger are a main theme of A CHRISTMAS CAROL, as is helping others in need. This food drive helps raise awareness that hunger is an issue in our community and allows visitors to take immediate action to make a difference.”
A list of the holiday box collection items can be found on kcrep.org.
The 2019 production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL features the following cast:
Gary Neal Johnson as Scrooge, Walter Coppage as Dickens, Victor Raider-Wexler as Marley/Old Joe, Vanessa Severo as Christmas Past, Matthew Rapport as Christmas Present/Solicitor, Taylor Harlow as Christmas Future/Bass, Jake Walker as Bob Cratchit, Yetunda Felix as Mrs. Cratchit, Rusty Sneary as Fred, Brianna Woods as Mrs. Fred, John Rensenhouse as Fezziwig/Old Joe, Peggy Friesen as Mrs. Fezziwig/Harp, Kimberly Horner as Belle/Dibler, Joseph Carr as Wilkins, Shanna Jones as Charwoman, Eric Morris as Young Ebenezer/Undertaker, Bradley J. Thomas as Solicitor/Topper, Kelly Urshel (Ensemble), Shon Ruffin (Ensemble), Caleigh Michnowicz (Ensemble/Miss 2)
The creative team for the production consists of Jason Chanos, Director; Emily Stovall, Costume Design; Kaitlyn Pietras and Jason H. Thompson, Lighting and Projections Design; Joshua Horvath, Sound Design; Anthony Edwards, Music Director/Piano-Conductor; Rachel M. Dyer, Assistant Stage Manager; Jordan New, Assistant Costume Design. Ivan Dario Cano serves as the Production Stage Manager.
A CHRISTMAS CAROL is made possible with lead sponsorships from US Bank and H&R Block, KCRep’s Education Fund Matching Challenge Sponsor. This project is supported by an award from the City of Kansas City, MO Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund. KCRep is underwritten in part by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Tickets for A CHRISTMAS CAROL start at $38 and may be purchased by visiting http://kcrep.org/show/ACC or by calling the KCRep box office at 816-235-2700. Groups of nine or more receive discounted tickets by calling Andrew at 816-235-6122.