WAXAHACHIE — The Ellis County Children’s Theater is performing their Christmas show, “Mr. Scrooge’s Christmas,” an adaptation of the Charles Dickens story “A Christmas Carol” this weekend.
In the play set in 1800s London, Ebenezer Scrooge is greeted by the ghost of Christmas past and present, and in the end, he’s able to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
A cast of 30 Ellis County children will spread the message of the kindness of the holiday season a little early this Christmas.
Even though the play is an adaptation of “A Christmas Carol,” all of the classic characters that everyone is familiar with will have a part. Key roles will be played by Simon Bailey, Bel Metteauer, and Noah Reynolds as Bob Cratchit, Ebenezer Scrooge and his nephew, Freddie. Madeleine Koelzer and Julia Hauffe also return as the ghost of Christmas past and present.
Noah, 11, has been with the Ellis County Children’s Theater (ECCT) for six years and will be playing two roles: Scrooge’s nephew and young Scrooge.
He said playing the two roles wouldn’t be much of an issue because, in the play, characters mention how much they look alike since they are related.
Noah emphasized on how much work the other kids have put into the play, since they’ve been preparing, since the end of October. “I’m really excited for the play, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun since we’ve put so much work into it,” Noah said.
The play will open up with a group of poor carolers at Scrooge’s door singing, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”
One of the carolers is played by one of the youngest students in the theater, 5-year-old Atlie Belle. This is her third play to act in. She said, “I like to sing, but I also have another line where I say, ‘Merry Christmas’ and I hold out a candle.”
Tatum Griffith is 10 years old and acting the part of the second man where she goes into Scrooge’s house and “gossips” about him. Even though she’s dressing in men’s pants and tie, she said, “It’s not any different from playing a girl really, it’s the same.”
Griffith’s favorite part about Christmas is how “everyone is happy and jolly at this time of year, and not many people are sad.” She agreed the play would help raise the spirit of Christmas.
Sophia Reynolds, Noah’s 7-year-old sister, will be playing the role of a caroler and a funeral-goer. She said she enjoys the singing but prefers the acting scenes more. When discussing the meaning of the play, Sophia said, “I think it’s about not being rude to others and just because you’re rich doesn’t mean that you have to be mean to the poor.”
Waxahachie High School alumna, Chasity Willis, is the director of the show. She commented on how it’s been a rewarding working with the younger and older students.
“The great thing about Ellis County Children’s Theater is that you get a range of talent and experience because you have kids that have been in the program for about eight years and then the itty-bitties who are just starting out,” Willis said.
Leah Carlton, managing director for ECCT, said when watching the show, audience members will experience how the kids worked efficiently through this process to get to where they are.
She said, “People coming out can expect to see kids that worked very hard. It’s a very seasonal play so they can also expect some Christmas carols and an overall good message and morals to get them excited for the holidays.”
Willis added that the play is meant to spread Christmas cheer, something Scrooge struggles with. She said the play allows everyone to “take a breath during the holidays and be thankful for the people in their life.”
“If you’re interested in seeing some local kids perform some exceptional live theater, go ahead and come out. There isn’t a lot of time in the regular school day for things like this where they get to put on a full production like this,” Willis said.
The ECCT will perform “Mr. Scrooge’s Christmas” on Dec. 15 and 16 at First United Methodist, starting at 7 p.m. and will last about an hour. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children and students.