A Christmas Carol in Walnut Creek

2015 winds down with a Lesher Center tradition—Center Rep’s beloved version of a Christmas Carol.

By Kevin Berne

This December, as the days grow shorter and the weather gets colder, theatergoers of all ages can bask in the warmth of Center REPertory Company’s production of A Christmas Carol. Center REP’s telling of the classic Charles Dickens tale about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s supernatural soul search on Christmas Eve is a timeless reminder of what is truly important in life.

“This show is totally about family, light, the good in everyone—including Scrooge,” says Scott Denison, director of the show running December 10–20 in the Hofmann Theatre. “There is laughter in every scene, but it’s a different kind of laughter. Even when Scrooge sees his life through the Ghost of Christmas Past he remembers joyful times.”

Denison has had plenty of time to consider the impact of the Scrooge character. The director insists that Scrooge can be redeemed, and so can we all. Denison says that his production has grown bigger, warmer, and richer over the years. Many performers return year after year, and young children are transformed into older children in the cast.

The show also has heart. Denison suggests that the British story offers the spirit of American artist Norman Rockwell. And, thanks to high-tech bells and whistles now available in live theatre, the show’s special effects create an otherworldly wonder for the supernatural sequences involving the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future. For the final sequence in the production, an age-old theatre effect is used to create the illusion of snow falling in the Hofmann Theatre.

Center REP’s musical production of A Christmas Carol has grown in scale and popularity every year, paralleling the enormous appeal of the 1843 story. As recent Dickens biographer Claire Tomalin notes, “The book went straight to the heart of the public and has remained lodged there ever since.”


When: December 10–20     Where: Hofmann Theatre     Info: (925) 943-SHOW (7469), or lesherartscenter.org