LANESBORO, MN — The Commonweal Theatre Company presents its own distinctive telling of the classic holiday story, A Christmas Carol, November 23 – December 23 with previews beginning on November 16. Commonweal’s imaginative take on this classic brings to life the people, sights and sounds of Scrooge’s world and his ultimate choice to liberate himself from a terrible fate. First developed by the Commonweal Theatre Company in 1999, the theatre’s minimalist approach to the tale instantly became an audience favorite.
“This is such a wonderful part of the Christmas tradition for so many,” says director Scott Dixon, “and this year, we’re excited to bring a brand-new re-imagining to the stage – a Victorian fantasy to underscore Scrooge’s journey to reconnect with his own humanity. The message for me in this story is that it’s never too late for healing, never too late for forgiveness.”
The ensemble cast features Commonweal’s resident artists Megan Pence, Daniel Stock, Adrienne Sweeney and Jeremy van Meter with Paul Steffens of the Apprentice Company. Also appearing on stage are area youth performers Alida Berg (Lanesboro), Kaj Spencer Berg (Decorah), Esme Decker (Lanesboro) and Alex Mathison (Preston).
This production of A Christmas Carol will be stage managed by Carolyn Fast, who leads a design team consisting of Lisa Kudas (sets), Amanda McGee (costumes), Gary Danciu (sound), Kit Mayer (lights), and Stef Dickens (props). Commonweal Apprentice Company Member Ethan Bjelland serves as Assistant Director. There will be discounted preview performances on November 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. and November 18 and 23 at 1:30 p.m. followed by post-performance discussions with the cast and director. A Christmas Carol officially opens the evening of November 23 at 7:30 p.m., with an opening night post-show reception in the Commonweal Events hall. On Thursday, November 29, the Commonweal Theatre will offer its Free Fillmore/Houston County Night performance. All residents and employees with Fillmore and Houston County addresses receive free admission to the show, but seats fill up fast so reservations are strongly encouraged.
From November 16 through December 23, Commonweal will be collecting new art supplies (such as markers, crayons, coloring books, paint sets, etc) to be gifted and delivered in time for the holidays to kids at Mayo Clinic’s Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital. Each patron who donates an item will receive $5 off their regular adult ticket price. Commonweal also asks attendees of the Free County Night who are able to “pay-it-forward” by bringing an art supply to donate to the Children’s Hospital patients.
With support from F&M Community Bank and the Target Corporation, special weekday matinee performances are available for school groups at only $5 per person, which includes a study guide and pre-show workshop with the actors. This production of A Christmas Carol is sponsored by Artesian Fresh.
Funding for Commonweal Theatre’s programming is provided in part by private funders and a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature. For more details, including information about schedules, tickets, and other Commonweal programs, visit www.commonwealtheatre.org or call the Box Office at 1-800-657-7025.