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Evangel Theatre presents Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol

Published on Nov 6, 2017 by Evangel University News

The Evangel University Theatre Program will present an adaptation of Charles Dickens’s 1843-classic, A Christmas Carol, Nov. 15 through 18, in The Barnett Theatre, under the direction of Dr. Vickie Wisdom.

“My favorite part of this adaptation is the inclusion of Dickens as the narrator,” said Dr. Wisdom, associate professor of theatre. “The element of having author face character is unusual and compelling for the audience.”

Another unique aspect of the performance will be “projection,” a staging technique that has never been attempted at Evangel before, according to Wisdom.

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A pre-makeup dress rehearsal of Evangel’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol, with Jon Spence, Luke Gettle and David Farmer. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Evangel will present five performances of A Christmas Carol, from Wednesday, Nov. 15, through Saturday, Nov. 18, at 7:30 p.m., along with a matinee on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. The Barnett Fine Arts Center is just south of the Spence Chapel, facing North Glenstone Ave.

Tickets for reserved seating are $15 per adult. Tickets for children ages 4-11 are $12, and children 3 and under are free if seated on a parent’s lap.

Tickets can be purchased online or by calling 865-2815, ext. 8640.

“I love A Christmas Carol because there are so many life and spiritual lessons to learn from the characters of the story,” said Dr. Wisdom.

“From Scrooge we learn about spiritual transformation and life changing experiences; from Fred and Cratchit we learn about forgiveness to those who wrong us; from Tiny Tim we learn to remain positive and hopeful even when life’s circumstances look bleak; from the ghosts we learn about reflecting on our past, present and future and allowing those reflections to influence our lives daily,” she said.

A Christmas Carol is a celebration of Christmas and all the joys it can bring; a celebration of change and a celebration of life,” she added.

The Cast & Crew

The 44-member cast* is made up of university, high school, middle school and elementary students from Evangel, New Covenant Academy and Marshfield Public Schools.

Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Jon Spence of Nixa, Mo., a junior government/pre-law and English double major. Spence is

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While the crew experiments with lighting during rehearsal, Jon Spence reacts to Vincent Bushong. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

no stranger to the Evangel stage. In last year’s production of The Music Man he played the role of Charlie Cowell, a sleazy salesman.

Tiny Tim is played by Luke Gettle, a fourth grader from New Covenant Academy. This is his debut as an actor.

Bob Cratchit is played by David Farmer of Sapulpa, Okla., a freshman theatre major who is making his debut on the Evangel stage. Farmer is also a member of the Evangel Crusaders football team.

The parts of Jacob Marley and Christmas Future are both played by Vincent Bushong of Montezuma, Iowa, a junior computer information system major. He has appeared in multiple plays and musicals at Evangel.

The choreography for this production is done by Lyra Sprenger of Ozark, Mo.

The design for this production is done by Denton Highfield of Owasso, Okla., a sophomore art education major/theatre minor; and David Smith, professor emeritus of theatre from Evangel University.

The director, Dr. Vickie Wisdom, earned her Bachelor’s in Music Education from Evangel in 1981 and returned a couple of years later to get a second major in Theatre. She then earned her M.B.A. from Missouri State University, followed by a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from the University of Missouri.

Dr. Wisdom returned to Evangel in 2016 to head the University’s highly regarded theatre program. Last spring, she produced the successful revival of The Music Man.

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Evangel University’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol with feature Luke Gettle as Tiny Tim. // PHOTO BY: Paul K. Logsdon (CLICK TO ENLARGE)

Director’s Synopsis

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is set in Victorian England in the 1800s.

It is a story of a broken man whose wealth has become his only passion in life. As a young man, Ebenezer Scrooge had love and family in his life, but after many setbacks, he lost the desire to be part of society, part of a family, and in essence, a caring human being.

One lonely and cold Christmas Eve, Scrooge goes to bed and is “visited” by four ghosts: his old (deceased) business partner, Jacob Marley; the Ghost of Christmas Past; the Ghost of Christmas Present; and the Ghost of Christmas Future.

After an eye-opening adventure, traveling through time and memories, as well as a chillingly, frighteningly, lonely visit to his potential future, Scrooge sees the error of his miserly ways and wakes up Christmas morning a new man, full of life, love and excitement to share his wealth and company with the people with whom he shares his life.

While primarily a play, there are moments of music from the townspeople, the Fezziwigs, Tiny Tim and the Cratchit Family.

Evangel offers three majors in the field

The theatre major provides instruction in theatre history, literary appreciation of dramatic literature, dramatic interpretation, and the performance skills demanded of a theatre artist. Theatre majors gain practical experiences in acting, directing, set design and costume design.

The theatre/speech education degree program brings the stage to life for those passionate about educating students in effective interpretation. The program provides a broad track with exposure to multiple disciplines of informative, dramatic, persuasive and improvisational communication styles. Students may also get practical experience in speech and debate by participating with Evangel’s forensics team.

The Humanities Department and the Music Department have collaborated to offer a new major, combining elements of both theatre and music instruction. Evangel developed the theatre/music program to meet a clear need in professional-theatre and church sectors for well-trained college graduates with a hybrid theatre-and-music background.

For additional information, contact Judy Peebles at (417) 865-2815, ext. 8640.



*A Christmas Carol cast list (in order of appearance)

  • Townsperson/Wood Carrier/Fezziweg Dancer- Jacob VanEss
  • Townsperson/Fezziweg Dancer- Ryana Aguilera
  • Townsperson- Sydnei Farless
  • Townsperson- Leta Reid
  • Townsperson/Woman- Shantell Gamlen
  • Beggar Girl/ Toy Lion Dancer- Erika Johnson
  • Beggar Girl- Abbie Johnson
  • Townsperson/Fezziwig Dancer- Rebekah Godzwa
  • Townsperson/ Fezziwig Dancer- Hannah Sowers
  • Fezziweg Dancer/Undertaker’s Boy- Ashlyn States
  • Townsperson- Bryce Ward
  • Boy Caroler- Aiden Henderson
  • Dickens/Christmas Present- Matthew Cederblom
  • Ebenezer Scrooge- Jon Spence
  • Bob Crachit- David Farmer
  • 1st Charitable Lady- Abby Holmes
  • 2nd Charitable Lady- Hannah Apple
  • Fred, Scrooge’s nephew- Nathaniel Parrales
  • Jacob Marley/Christmas Future- Vincent Bushong
  • Christmas Past- Mariah Stelling
  • Little Fan- Hailey Anderson
  • Boy Scrooge/Ned Cratchit- Ian Thompson
  • Belle- Lisa Earlenbaugh
  • Young Scrooge/3rd Businessman- Adam Gillen
  • Fezziwig/Old Joe- Darrick Clark
  • Dick Wilkins- Austin Dunaway
  • Fezziwig- Annalise Williams
  • Cratchit- Erin Payne
  • Sally Cratchit- Noelle Griffin
  • Belinda Cratchit- Elise Nelson
  • Tiny Tim- Luke Gettle
  • Martha Cratchit- Anna Mitchell
  • Peter Cratchit- Brice Todd
  • Mary, Fred’s wife- Hannah Davis
  • Beth- Nina Hrabal
  • Jack, friend of Fred- Caleb Gravot
  • Topper, friend of Fred- Josiah Love
  • Meg- Joella Abarientos
  • Want- Nora Griffin
  • Ignorance- Nic Griffin
  • Fezziwig Dancer/4th Businessman (Topper-Sat. Only)- Carson Moore
  • Fezziwig Dancer/5th Businessman- Kyle Medley
  • Dilber- Noel Lutes
  • Filcher- Liz Ware