All of the spirits of Christmas – past, present, and future – are inhabiting Theatre Rocks! in Ennis at the moment. A new adaptation of the classic Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol,” opened last weekend and continues through Dec. 18.
The play is directed and adapted by the Waxahachie daughter-mother team of Kate Vega and Lisa Rosewell, both of whom are accomplished actresses. While Vega and Rosewell often have contributed their considerable acting talents to the Theatre Rocks! stage, this production marks their debut as directors and playwrights – and it is an outstanding accomplishment.
“It was my dream to direct this show because of the continuous theme of redemption throughout the story," said Vega. “I wanted to showcase the very Christian aspects of the story that other versions do not emphasize.”
Edd Spradling of DeSoto delivers a sullen “Bah! Humbug!” to perfection and is equally delightful as the redeemed man full of childlike joy upon being given a chance to change his stingy ways. Ennis native and UTA performance major Adrian Arteaga serves up a Bob Cratchit who is appropriately fearful and pitying of his miserly employer. His pity is quite obviously not shared by Mrs. Cratchit, played charmingly by a Theatre Rocks! favorite, Caryn Spaniel of Ennis.
While re-creating the appearance of spirits might seem a daunting task for the intimate Theatre Rocks! stage, Vega, Rosewell and the actors (Ghost of Christmas Past played by Sarah Jurik, Christmas Present by Brian Rosewell, and Christmas Future by Ben Rosewell) did an admirable job of giving a supernatural power and presence to each spirit.
The set itself was similarly well-suited to the small stage, not overdone or clunky. Set pieces for small vignettes were moved on and off stage seamlessly – and often by actors enthusiastically singing Christmas carols.
Young and old alike may take special enjoyment in the youngest members of the cast: Zach Brennan (Peter Cratchit and Boy of Ignorance), Kaci Bowling (Martha Cratchit), Kenzie Bowling (Tiny Tim) and Emma Horrell (Flower Girl and Girl of Want). The wonderful cast of 22 also includes Noah Scibana, an excellent narrator; Ezra Alexander, who is full of joy and goodwill as Scrooge’s nephew, Fred; Cassidy Hortman, sweetly portraying both Scrooge’s fiance Belle and Belle’s daughter; Robert Brennan and Sam Rosewell, who have the undesirable task of calling on Scrooge for donations; Brian Holley, Candice Horrell and Elizabeth Rosewell, all of whom contribute their singing talents; and Bill Walker and Christine Moore, who deserve jolly laughing awards as the Fezziwigs.
The acting, directing, writing and staging have coalesced to produce a resoundingly family-friendly, heart-warming show. Do yourself a favor; don’t say “Bah! Humbug!” Go see “A Christmas Carol” for a delightful reminder of the blessing of life.
"A Christmas Carol" adapted and directed by Kate Vega and Lisa Rosewell, 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays Dec. 8, 9, 15, and 16, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 17 and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at Theatre Rocks!, 505 NW Main St., Ennis. Runtime 90 minutes, with intermission. Senior Adults and Students $12, Adults $15. Information: 972.878.5126 or www.theatrerocks.com.