The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

A Seussified Christmas Carol opens November 22


November 13, 2019

This years’ play, what a delightful phrase to say, will be presented on November 22 and 23 at 7:00 pm both nights. Big Sandy has the wonderful opportunity to enjoy a Christmas tradition in the watching of a Christmas Carol initially written by Charles Dickens in 1843. A Christmas Carol is a story about Ebenezer Scrooge, an older grabby man who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and three spirits of Christmas. The ghost of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas yet to come. Scrooge becomes a different “nicer” man (according to one of the students in the play.)

This play, however, is written by Peter Bloedel, who is a professor at Bethany Lutheran College. It is described as “A whimsical reinvention of Dickens’ most beloved Christmas story in wacky rhymed couplets. With zoot fruited juices and binka bird geese, from Bed-Headed Fred to Timmy Loo Hoo, this tale of glorious holiday cheer is similar to something Dr. Seuss might have come up with -- if he ever had his way with the story”

I interviewed several students. Narrative Four told me, “It’s a comedy. It’s better to be nice.”

Another who played a bystander and street person says, “It’s funny. It’s a good play. People should come to see it!”

High school student playing Jack Marley told me, “It’s a multitude of things, and it’s hard for me to describe.” The message is, “Be charitable, just don’t take.”

A bystander and a party player said, “I’m really glad to be in the play. It gives me the opportunity to practice in front of people. It’s really good for me to be in front of people.”

One of the Cratchit children said, “And my family is very, very poor. My family in the play is generous and grateful for what we get. It’s pretty awesome. It’s the first time I’ve been in a play.”

I asked one of the younger students who she was in the play, and she was excited to tell me about her parts—but when I asked her if she thought people should come and watch it. Her eyes got real big, and she didn’t know she was performing it in front of people.

I found Rich Jesperson, who is playing Scrooge in the play. He was sitting in the middle of the auditorium practicing his lines when I approached him wanting to ask him what he thought of the play. In total character, he said, “I be Scrooge. I think it is a waste of time! I think we should be working and not playing at plays. I think there is also too much money spent on these things. And too many kids, and the noise, the noise, the noise!” I can’t wait to see him in the play!

When I approached several kids, eating their afterschool snack. They told me yes, they liked the play but it is a lot of work to put on.

On stage was a man putting together a light, and I asked him if he was in the play. He said, “I’m the crazy dancer (in the play).” Tom Arnold is the prop man. “I’m a helper. I do like doing this.” Last year he was the curtain man. He’s decided to do a little bit more this year.

Dianna Upham Keane and Vanessa Janssen are the directors of the play. Amanda and Chase Hoffman are backstage directions. Thirty-nine kids and eight adults are involved in the production.

Last year’s play and donations paid for that year’s production and this year’s play as well. So, the money they take in this year will pay for next year’s play.


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