COLUMBIA, S.C. – Trustus Theatre continues their 34th Season with the production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, a play that portrays another side to the story behind Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. This play arrives at Trustus Theatre just in time for the holiday season, and will open up on Trustus Theatre’s Main Stage on Friday, November 30 and will run through Saturday, December 22, 2018. Shows will run Thursday through Sunday for three packed weeks of holiday laughter and cheer. Tickets may be purchased at www.trustus.org, or by calling the Trustus Box Office at 803-254-9732.
“Marley was dead, to begin with.” Well, we all know that from seeing countless versions of Dickens’s holiday classic, A Christmas Carol. But what happens to Ebenezer Scrooge’s mean, sour, pruned old business partner after that? This play tells all! Chained and shackled, Marley is condemned to a hellish eternity. He’s even been given his own private tormentor: a malicious and hilarious little hell-sprite who thoroughly enjoys his work. Desperate, Marley accepts his one chance to free himself. To escape his own chains, he must first redeem Ebenezer Scrooge. So begins a journey of laughter and terror, redemption and renewal, during which Scrooge’s heart, indeed, is opened; but not before Marley—in this irreverent, funny, and deeply moving story—discovers his own.
The play was written by playwright Tom Mula, and will be directed by Trustus Company member Patrick Michael Kelly. It stars actors Kevin Bush, Krista Forster, Richard Edward III, and Jeff Driggers. Stage management will be provided by Ginny Ives with scenic design by Sam Hetler and costume design by Jean Lomasto.
“I’m most excited for the audiences to experience this clever twist on the classic story,” Kelly said. “Most people are familiar with Dickens’ original story, but this adaptation looks at that story through a different set of eyes. The delivery of the piece is also unique: the creator, Tom Mula, describes the piece as ‘story theatre,’ and that’s a perfect term for it. It is theatre in its purest form: simple, stripped down, highlighting the relationship between the actors and the audience, and focused on telling the story as clearly and courageously as possible.
“The cast is a group of actors that I’ve never worked with before, but their recent work should be familiar to Columbia audiences. Kevin Bush is a longtime Trustus Company member and a local favorite who last appeared in Season 33’s Evil Dead: The Musical, as well as this year’s All or Nothing At All Rat Pack show at Workshop Theatre. Kevin is best known for his wonderful singing voice, but he’s got high-level acting chops as well. He told me that he’s been hungry for a big, challenging role and he gets that with Marley; he meets the challenge and then some. Krista Forster is a new Company member this season but was everywhere you looked last season with roles in Barbecue, A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall, and A Bright Room Called Day, as well as appearing in Workshop Theatre’s String of Pearls. She also worked backstage for our production of Fun Home; she’s dedicated. Krista brings professional training and experience, having acted all over the country, to this delightfully devilish role. She gets to show a lot of range and audiences are in for a treat.
“Richard Edward III is new to Columbia, but he jumped right into the theatre scene by appearing in The Crucible at USC last season. I enjoyed his work in that and was hoping to bring him here, and I’m glad we are working together on this. Rick brings a lot of experience and has a great natural presence on stage, and I’m excited for him to make his Trustus debut. Jeff Driggers is a Columbia native who just moved back after being away for college and grinding in LA for a few years. Like Rick, Jeff and I are old acquaintances but we’ve never really worked together before, so I’m thrilled to have him in this production. Jeff is a versatile performer and that shows in this role; he’s always game to play and try new things and he has an infectious energy that makes him imminently likeable.”
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol will run from Friday, November 30 – Saturday, December 22 and tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732 or online at trustus.org. Opening night is Friday, November 30, at 8pm. The performances following are on Saturday, December 1, at 8pm; Sunday, December 2, at 3pm; Thursday, December 6, at 7:30pm; Friday, December 7, at 8pm; Saturday, December 8, at 8pm; Sunday, December 9, at 3pm; Thursday, December 13, at 7:30pm; Friday, December 14, at 8pm; Saturday, December 15, at 8pm; Sunday, December 16, at 2pm; Thursday, December 20, at 7:30pm; Friday, December 21, at 8pm; and Saturday, December 22, at 8pm.