A Christmas Carol Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:               November 20, 2014 

CONTACT:                                            

Randall Hartzog,Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications

rhartzog@theatrememphis.org             901.682.8601    

Everything Old Is New Again in A Christmas Carol at Theatre Memphis   

Memphis, TN – A Christmas Carol at Theatre Memphis will open December 5, 2014, for the 37th consecutive year but with a new spirit, David Shipley, performing as Ebenezer Scrooge. Theatre Memphis, having completely redesigned the set and costumes a few years ago, will have additional updates to other Spirits (Past, Present and Future) costumes and particular scenes that will enhance the storytelling further. Evening and matinee performances will run through December 23, 2014, Tickets are available by calling 901.682.8323 or by going online to http://theatrememphis.org/a-christmas-carol-2014.   Weekday school matinee performances (a truncated version with Ron Gordon as Scrooge) are on the Lohrey Stage December 3– December 18, 2014 (2 performances per day at 9:30am and 11am). FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE TRUNCATED VERSION PLEASE GO TO  http://theatrememphis.org/a-christmas-carol-student-matinees   

Director Jason Spitzer returns to direct A Christmas Carol evening performances for the seventh time at Theatre Memphis. “I think the clearest benefit of having worked on the show so long,” he states, “is that when TM's artistic staff and I overhauled the show in 2010 we agreed on a common vision for telling the story and, in the last five years, we've been able to not only achieve that vision but build upon it.” Spitzer is and has directed the daytime version generally marketed to school groups and considers the two versions to be true to each other. He says, “I try not to keep the two shows separate. We've worked very hard to unify both shows, both to simplify the process of remounting them year after year, and to ensure that everyone in the audience gets to see a consistently great show whether they're visiting us with a school group or seeing our closing performance the night before Christmas Eve.”   

For several years Scrooge has been portrayed by local actor Barry Fuller who announced his “retirement” from the role last year. Shipley was an early frontrunner for the role to move forward. According to Spitzer, “David Shipley is delightful in the role of Scrooge. He's tall and lean. He has sharp features. Physically, it's as if Charles Dickens conjured him up especially to play the role. He perfectly captures Scrooge's bitterness regarding the merry-making all around him, and his transformation is truly moving. He's also pretty funny.”   Shipley’s take on the role reveals a respect for what the audience expects. “My primary expectation as an audience member would be to see a faithful and straight-forward telling of the original Dickens story, which most Theatre Memphis' patrons already know in advance they are going to get,” he relates.  “To that end, I base my characterization on a lifetime of having read the book over and over.” He says it is exciting and daunting at the same time to follow in Fuller’s Christmas slippers but he has accepted the task with grace, “Mostly because I like working with Jason Spitzer and Theatre Memphis. I have also been in A Christmas Carol enough times that returning to this show is always very comfortable.” Enough times includes playing the parts of Marley’s Ghost, Bob Crachit, Fred and Topper in various years and combinations.   

Debbie Litch, Executive Producer of Theatre Memphis, celebrates that Theatre Memphis has such a great tradition and so many actors who perform during the busy holiday season and become part of the TM family. Litch proclaims, “One of the most exciting elements of this holiday show is that we see families come back to see A Christmas Carol year after year who have truly made this a family tradition. We love our actors who give of their time and talents at this special time too … and to them all I say ‘God Bless you, every one!’ “   

 TITLE: A Christmas Carol 

 BASED ON THE NOVEL BY: Charles Dickens 

 DIRECTOR: Jason Spitzer 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: December 5 - 23, 2014 

 TIMES OF SHOWS: December  5 – 23 Evening performances @ 7pm December 5,6,11,12,13,14,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 Saturday and Sunday matinees @ 3pm December 7,13,14,20,21 TICKETS: $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children 11 and under BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 PRESENTING SPONSOR: AutoZone/ArtsZone 

 SPONSORED BY: Dina & Brad Martin and Davey Tree Expert Company    

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.   Theatre Memphis receives season sponsorship and funding from:   

First Tennessee Foundation, The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation, The Jeniam Foundation, ArtsMemphis and Tennessee Art Commision              

Posted by Randall Hartzog at 12:59 PM
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