A Christmas Carol at the ZACH Theatre (Local Austin, Texas)

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A Christmas Carol at the ZACH Theatre (Local Austin, Texas)

Austin’s most rockin’ holiday tradition is back by popular demand for the third year in a row!

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We have certain family traditions we look forward to doing every year around Austin for the holidays including decorating gingerbread houses at The Thinkery or Foodie Kids, ice skating on top of the Whole Foods downtown location, and getting the girls’ picture with Santa at the Domain.  We are now adding seeing A Christmas Carol A Rockin’ Family Musical to our list starting in 2016 since the girls are finally old enough to stay entertained for the two hour long production at ZACH Theatre and we couldn’t be more excited.  This is the third year that the ZACH Theatre has produced this musical and I have been looking forward to the time when we could enjoy it as a family.

A Christmas Carol plays on stage in the Topfer Theatre from November 23 – December 31, 2016 and stars Jaston Williams of Greater Tuna fame, in the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. ZACH Theatre’s A Christmas Carol combines new hit songs and reimagined carols with traditional Victorian setting and costumes.  A Christmas Carol is Adapted and Directed by ZACH Theatre Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley with Musical Direction by Allen Robertson.  The great thing about ZACH is it has started to feel like a little family to us and it’s fun when we see both repeat and new players in each cast and A Christmas Carol is no exception.  In its third year of production, there are returning cast members to A Christmas Carol and some we recently watched on a ZACH stage in productions like Charlotte’s Web (Diego Rodriguez, Mercy Bovik), Winne the Pooh (Sara Burke), Alice in Wonderland (Lilah Gauragna), and James and the Giant Peach (Kim Stacy).

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Check it out!  For a sneak peek at the A Christmas Carol program, click here. 

The History of A Christmas Carol

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Charles Dickens’ (February 7, 1812-June 9, 1870) classic story A Christmas Carol was published on December 19, 1843 (Chapman & Hall) in London, England, right in time for the holiday season.  The novella’s official title is A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost-Story of Christmas and it was an instant success.  Dickens was an English writer and social critic that is regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era.  Dickens based many of his novels on his own childhood (Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, Bleak House) which included such tragic events as his father going to debtor’s prison when he was a young teen, his living with foster families, and working long hours in a warehouse to help his family and pay his board.  Dickens wrote the Christmas-themed novella in just six weeks and sources say that he based the book on his own childhood humiliating experiences (even basing the character Ebenezer Scrooge on his father) and his own empathy for those who lived in poverty combined with Britain’s Christmas traditions at the time which were starting to change.  Dickens was 31 years old when A Christmas Carol was published and his wife was pregnant (Charles and Catherine had a total of 10 children) at the time.  Despite the success of the novel, Dickens was disappointed in his payments from the publisher, with whom he had agreed to payments in a percentage of the book’s profits as opposed being paid in a lump sum.  John Leech illustrated the first edition of A Christmas Carol.

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A Christmas Carol begins on Christmas Eve in London, exactly seven years after the death of Ebenezer Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley.  The bitter old miser Scrooge hates Christmas (calling it ‘humbug’) and the only ‘gift’ he gives is allowing his overworked, underpaid clerk Bob Cratchit the day off Christmas with pay as per the social custom.  The novella tells the story of Scrooge’s transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.  Marley warns Scrooge to change his ways or await his fate upon death of carrying long and heavy chains, like his own.  Scrooge is then visited by three ‘spirits’ of the Past, Present, and Future and Scrooge is reminded of his innocence, heart break, and loneliness.  The spirit of the Present takes him to Cratchit’s house where his family is celebrating Christmas, and Scrooge is forced to see his family’s level of poverty and see’s Cratchit’s son ‘Tiny Tim’ who is full of happiness despite his being extremely ill.  The spirit tells him that Tiny Tim will die soon if his family’s poverty status does not change.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge his neglected grave and a sobbing Scrooge pledges to change his ways.  Scrooge awakens on Christmas morning and quickly makes a complete change in his life, including giving Cratchit a raise which supports Tiny Tim.  Scrooge is written to now embody the spirit of Christmas and treats everyone with kindness, generosity, and compassion.  The story ends with the narrator repeating Tiny Tim’s now famous words: “God bless us, every one!”

Dickens died in 1870 at the age of 58, with his last novel, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, still unfinished.

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Tickets start at $25 and are available online at www.zachtheatre.org, by phone at 512-476-0541 ext. 1, or in person at the ZACH Theatre Box Office, in the Topfer Theatre, 202 South Lamar Blvd. (corner of Riverside Drive and South Lamar Blvd.) Monday through Saturday, 12 noon – 5 p.m.  ZACH Theatre is wheelchair accessible.  Discounts are available for groups of 8 or more. Student Rush Tickets are $18 one hour before show time (with valid ID). Wednesday evenings and Saturday matinees feature arts industry professional pricing.

  • Recommendation: Ages six and up.
  • Run Time: Approximate two hours and 20 minutes including one intermission.

Heritage Title Company is Presenting Sponsor of A Christmas Carol with Silicon Labs as a Leading Sponsor, Jeff and Marcy Carpenter, Pamela and Scott Reichardt as Executive Producers, and Michael and Sarah Heidler as Producers.

CAST

  • Jaston Williams – Scrooge
  • Michael Valentine – Fred
  • Kenny Williams – Ghost of Christmas Past
  • Chanel Haynes – Schwartz – Ghost of Christmas Present
  • Boyce Templin – Ghost of Christmas Future
  • Roderick Sanford – Jacob Marley / Mr. Fezziwig
  • Paul Sanchez – Bob Cratchit
  • Megan Richards Wright – Mrs. Cratchit
  • Marianel Marquez – Marta Cratchit
  • Kelly Petlin – Gwendolyn
  • Vincent Hooper – Charitable Gentleman
  • Kim Stacy – Mrs. Fezziwig / Laundress
  • Tyler Jones – Young Scrooge
  • Sara Burke – Belle
  • Leslie Ann Leal – Ensemble
  • Celeste Castillo – Ensemble
  • Nicolas Garza – Ensemble
  • Alaina Vi Maderal – Ensemble
  • D’Mariel Jones – Ensemble
  • Aiden Wen – Tiny Tim
  • Ryan Gu – Tiny Tim
  • Devon Bell – Fan
  • Scarlet Craig – Fan
  • Javier Garcia – Young Scrooge
  • Mercy Bovik – Children’s Ensemble
  • Eric Gu – Children’s Ensemble
  • Lilah Guaragna – Children’s Ensemble
  • Elli Grace Hodges – Children’s Ensemble
  • Christian Hooten – S Children’s Ensemble
  • Helena Lang – Children’s Ensemble
  • Carolyn O’Brien – Belinda / Children’s Ensemble
  • Georgia Orchid – Children’s Ensemble
  • Bridgette Peterson – Children’s Ensemble
  • Diego Rodriguez – Turkey Boy / Children’s Ensemble
  • Charlie Welland – Children’s Ensemble
  • Claire Wilcox – Children’s Ensemble
  • Anderson Zoll – Turkey Boy / Children’s Ensemble

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PRODUCTION TEAM

  • Dave Steakley – Director
  • Allen Robertson – Music Director
  • Christa Oliver – Choreographer
  • Bob Lavaley – Scenic Designer
  • Susan Branch Towne – Costume Designer
  • Serret Jensen – Hair and Makeup Designer
  • Sarah Maines – Lighting Designer
  • Craig Brock – Sound Designer
  • Steve Baglio – Properties Designer
  • Catherine Anne Tucker – Stage Manager

Plan Your Trip! 

Here are a few things to note:

  • ZACH Theatre does offer drinks and snacks (including alcoholic beverages).
  • ATMs are not available on site so plan accordingly.
  • There is no specific dress code, but business casual is appreciated.
  • While children’s shows are for kids and their families, they do prohibit infants from attending their Mainstage productions to avoid distractions.
  • ZACH is fully handicap accessible and compliant.
  • The Topfer Theater (where A Christmas Carol takes place) is located at 202 South Lamar, Austin, TX 78704.

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Special events in celebration of A Christmas Carol include:

  • Wednesday Post-Show Talkback – November 30, 2016
  • Sign Interpreted and Open Captioned Performance: November 30, 2016
  • Champagne Opening Night: Thursday, December 1, 2016
  • Sign Interpreted Performance: December 18 at 2:30 p.m.
  • Z Lounge: Musical entertainment in the Topfer Theatre’s Main Lounge.
  • The Topfer Theatre bar opens 90 minutes before show time and includes cocktails, sodas, coffee, and teas. Don’t miss the holiday-themed selections including the Bah Rum-Bug hot chocolate with vanilla bean and cinnamon-infused rum or the Fezziwig Cider topped off with a warming blend of Jameson Irish whiskey, mulled apple cider, and ginger beer.  Arrive early to enjoy pre-show musical entertainment by Chanel Haynes-Schwartz and Pre-Professional Company students.

  • Visit the Gift Shop for a ZACH branded product or a specialty holiday show gift. Items include: festive glasses, DVDs, books, snow globes, t-shirts, and more.

Parking at ZACH Theatre:

In addition to nearby street parking on Toomey Road, Sterzing Street, Lee Barton Drive, Riverside Drive, and Jessie and Butler Streets (see map here), parking for ZACH patrons attending a performance is also available at ZACH’s Whisenhunt Theatre, at ZACH’s Topfer Theatre, behind the Parks and Recreation Department at night and on Sundays, and at The Bicycle Shop just south of Barton Springs and Lamar by McDonald’s.  Parking is $7 per car. For night and weekend performances, attendants will be available to collect payment before the show via cash or secure mobile credit card.  NEW: Subscribers can park in the Whisenhunt or Topfer lots for the discounted price of $5 with your 2016-17 hangtag. FREE Subscriber Parking is provided in our designated lot based on availability, they recommend arriving at least 30 minutes prior to your performance. Please remember to bring your hangtag as this informs the attendant where to direct you. For a complete parking map, click here.

A Christmas Carol Schedule:

  • 11/25/2016 7:30 PM
  • 11/26/2016 7:30 PM
  • 11/27/2016 2:30 PM
  • 11/27/2016 7:30 PM
  • 11/30/2016 7:30 PM (Sign Interpreted and Open Captioned)
  • 12/01/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/02/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/03/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/03/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/04/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/07/2016 7:00 PM
  • 12/08/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/09/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/10/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/10/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/11/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/13/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/14/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/15/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/16/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/17/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/17/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/18/2016 2:30 PM (Sign Interpreted Performance)
  • 12/18/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/21/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/22/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/23/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/23/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/25/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/28/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/29/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/30/2016 7:30 PM
  • 12/31/2016 2:30 PM
  • 12/31/2016 7:00 PM

About the ZACH Theatre:  Located at 1510 Toomey Road – Austin, TX 78704 (Phone (512) 476-0541), the ZACH Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization located in Austin,Texas.  

The ZACH campus features three theaters each with differing seating configurations and excellent sight lines, so check your ticket to make sure you know the correct location: 

  • Topfer Theater: a 420-seat proscenium stage in which the seating fans around the stage in an arc, much like movie theater stadium-style seating.
  • Kleberg Theatre: a 230-seat thrust stage, with the audience seated on three sides
  • Whisenhunt Theatre: a 130-seat arena stage, also known as a theater-in-the-round.

Support the ZACH Theatre!

ZACH thrives and prospers with support from patrons like you. Be a part of their cast of generous individual donors, family foundations, corporate sponsors and volunteers. It’s easy to donate your time, resources and ideas to make a difference at ZACH. Join them for their fantastic special events, exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunities and opening night celebrations as you support artistic excellence on their stages and valuable arts educational programming in the Austin community.  Learn more about how you can donate HERE.

ZACH Theatre’s 2016-17 Season is sponsored in part, by AT&T, Austin Catering, Baylor Scott & White Health, Dell, H-E-B, Holiday Inn-Lady Bird Lake, Kirk Tuck Photography, Marquee Event Group, OnRamp Access, and Schlotzsky’s; and by grants from The Shubert Foundation, the Junior League of Austin, The National Endowment for the Arts, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Cultural Arts Division of The City of Austin Economic Development Department.

Connect with ZACH:

A Christmas Carol A Rockin’ Family Musical Photos by Kirk Tuck

A Christmas Carol Review at the ZACH Theatre (Local Austin, Texas)

http://www.zachtheatre.org

List Price: $25.00 per person, $18.00 per person (Student Rush Tickets)

Special Offer at Backbeat

 Show your ZACH Theatre ticket before or after the show and enjoy your choice of a classic Champagne Cocktail OR an Old Fashioned for just $6 and $2 off any of the small plates on the food menu.

The rhythm of Backbeat comes to life in a stylish, two-story bar that includes a cocktail lounge and rooftop patio with stunning views.

Backbeat | 1300 S Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78704

A Christmas Carol Sponsors

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