Scrooge IRT logo

Indiana Repertory Theatre adorns the Christmas season with it’s annual presentation of Charles Dickens’ masterpiece A Christmas Carol, adapted by Tom HaasThis year marks the 25th annual production of the holiday piece and it has lost none of it’s luster with the retelling.

Using every bit of the IRT production crew’s imagination and genius, with glorious costumes (by Murell Horton), dynamic lighting (by Michael Lincoln), a snow-covered, multi-trap doored stage design (by Russell Metheny) and outstanding music and sound (by composer/designer Andrew Hopson and directed by Terry Woods), this rendition of the very familiar tale of Scrooge and his awakening has a feel of both familiarity and surprise.

Courtney Sale stages and directs the all-star cast using a multitude of storytelling methods – such as borrowing from the Greek chorus style of narrative or the use of a large frame as a door, mirror, window or enclosure. The storytelling is as creative as the setting, and the storytellers are magnificent.

Ryan Artzberger takes the role of Scrooge in IRT's production of "A Christmas Carol"

Ryan Artzberger takes the role of Scrooge in IRT’s “A Christmas Carol”

Ryan Artzberger leads the cast as Scrooge. His embodiment of the iconic character is often as familiar as any that has been created – stern, callous, unfeeling. But Artzberger leads us to a surprising and refreshing Scrooge as he becomes a reformed man – full of mirth and much laughter as well as solemn, honest remorse. It is a memorable creation and he shines in the performance of it.

Jennifer Johansen (far left) and Joshua Coomer (far right) are Mrs. & Bob Cratchit in IRT's "A Christmas Carol"

Jennifer Johansen (far left) and Joshua Coomer (far right) are Mrs. & Bob Cratchit in IRT’s “A Christmas Carol”

The rest of the cast of 15 takes on an impressive population of characters to tell Dickens’ story – each providing rich and strong portrayals. This is an ensemble piece and the company works in that vein quite naturally. Highlights include Charles Goad’s imposing Jacob Marley; Joshua Coomer and Jennifer Johansen – endearing as the Cratchit parents; Constance Macy’s delightful Mrs. Fezziwig; and Will Mobley, giving solid performances as both Young Scrooge and Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.

The entire cast of IRT's "A Christmas Carol"

The entire cast of IRT’s “A Christmas Carol”

Bottom-line: a retelling of a familiar story such as this one can often be just that – a retelling. But IRT’s excellent production gives new life to the old tale and makes the story a delight!

A Christmas Carol continues on IRT’s main stage through December 26th. For ticket and reservation information, go to http://www.irtlive.com or call the ticket office at 317-635-5252.

  • Banner artwork by Kyle Ragsdale
  • Photos by Zach Rosing

 

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