Henderson, Tennessee – (Oct. 31, 2023) – Visitors to Freed-Hardeman’s campus for this year’s homecoming festivities will be invited to start celebrating the Christmas season a little early. FHU Theatre will present a special production of the Charles Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol” in the Black Box Theatre, Nov. 9-11 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 11-12 at 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at fhutickets.com.
“‘A Christmas Carol’ is one of the most widely produced stories in the United States. Almost everyone knows the tale,” FHU Theatre Director Dr. Cliff Thompson said. “But at its heart, it is a ghost story, and we are trying to honor that with our production.”
While the Black Box Theatre will be transformed into the offices of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, it’s the ghosts of his past who take center stage to tell the story of Scrooge’s famous transformation.
“It’s not the normal version of the story people think of. In our small cast of eight, we’re each playing a ghost and we’re retelling the story of Scrooge years after his death. It’s unique,” said Aubrey Garrison, a freshman psychology major who is excited to be cast in her first FHU production.
Another unusual element lies in the play’s casting. Rather than have only one actor portray the character of Scrooge, each member of the ensemble portrays the miser at some point.
Freshman theatre major Natalie Barker enjoys playing different characters within the same show. “I go from a child to an adult in two seconds, and it’s really fun,” Barker said. “I don’t think the audience is going to want to take their eyes off the show.”
Thompson hopes that audience members will be able to see themselves in the shoes of the main character. “If we are honest, all of us at times are Ebeneezer Scrooge. I think Dickens is trying to suggest that in his novella – that there are characteristics of the human heart that would make all of us tend to be just as wretched as Scrooge is,” he said. Fortunately, with multiple actors portraying that role, each also gets the chance to celebrate in the redemption that Scrooge is eventually awarded.
The show may have some weighty themes, but it also includes enough humor, dancing, puppetry and eye-catching design to keep audience members of all ages engaged throughout the 90-minute production. “It’s very professional for college theatre,” Garrison said. “It’s great to feel like I’m a part of something big.”
Rounding out the cast are Kevin Record, Jordan Deck, Levi Secula, Drew Bramblett, Maci Cagle and Alane Barnett. Other key roles include Brandyn Graves as scenic, puppet and sound designer; Collett Heenan as costume designer; Lucas Johnson as stage manager; Conita Fader as costume builder; and Jenna Britt as choreographer.
During a weekend filled with activities, visitors are encouraged to make “A Christmas Carol” part of their homecoming plans. The entire schedule of homecoming events can be found at fhu.edu/homecoming/schedule.
The mission of Freed-Hardeman University is to help students develop their God-given talents for His glory by empowering them with an education that integrates Christian faith, scholarship and service. With locations in Henderson and Memphis, FHU offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees.