Natchez Little Theatre offers rendition of classic play
Published 12:07 am Thursday, December 4, 2014
NATCHEZ — The Natchez Little Theatre will look to put a local twist on a Christmas classic this holiday season.
For 11 years, the NLT has told the timeless story of Ebenezer Scrooge in the production of “A Natchez Christmas Carol.”
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“A Natchez Christmas Carol” follows Scrooge’s metamorphoses from a mean-spirited gentleman to a man of character.
Don Vesterse, who is also the play’s set designer, portrays Scrooge in the NLT production.
Jacob Marley, portrayed by Dusty Giamanco, warns Vesterse’s character that the life he is living will lead to an uneventful end if he doesn’t change his ways. Scrooge is then haunted by three spirits, who look to help him see the error of his ways.
“I’m really glad to have the help of such an amazing cast,” said play director Morgan Mizell.
The play, which is adapted by NLT Artistic Director Layne Taylor from the Charles Dickens classic, is set in the City of Natchez in 1869, which will help attendees feel at home, Mizell said.
“It gives a hometown feel to the story, which allows (residents) to get into the story because you have characters that are historic and known to the area,” Mizell said.
Mizell hopes the play will get local families into the Christmas spirit and see that life is not about material things, but about the relationships each individual nurtures.
“I hope they can experience that through each song we have and each scene that we perform,” Mizell said. “These characters are exuding that emotion of living every moment to its fullest because you never know when life is going to change.”
Mizell said the cast had nearly a month to prepare for the play, but because of a dedicated group of volunteers, they were able to accomplish their goals.
NLT veteran of more than 20 years, Janet McNeely, will portray Laura Havillan, a woman who deals with the wrath of Scrooge early on in the play.
“He’s a mean ole scrooge,” McNeely said. “We are taking up donations for the poor at the beginning, and he doesn’t give us any money.”
NLT award winning actor Terrence Robinson will portray Bob Cratchit, an employee who has worked many years for Scrooge without getting a raise.
Robinson also serves as the play’s musical director, which allowed him to work with Vesterse and other cast members throughout preparation.
“This is my second time working with (Don),” Robinson said. “It’s great seeing his character make his transformation from Don the person to Scrooge. He plays the character very well.”
Other cast members include Mizell as Eliza, Tyler Brown as Fred and the Ghost of Christmas Future, Katie Borum, Jasmine Winding, Morgan Baskin, Thomas Williams, Sara Davis, Kendra Washington, Patricia Ware, Symone Thomas, Sarah Carey, Melinda, Anabella and Addison Laird, Ava McDonald, Faith Clark, Riana McLemore, Chandler Johnson, Ashleigh Johnson, Adair Carey and De’Naya Ayriel Ware as Tiny Tim.
Performances begin at 7 p.m. tonight and continue each Friday, Saturday and Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. through Dec. 20th, with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. on Dec. 7, 14 and 21 at the Natchez Little Theatre on 319 Linton Ave., at Maple Street.
The box office opens one hour before each performance. Call 601-442-2233 or visit natcheztheatre.org to pre-purchase tickets.
All tickets are $15.