Just in time for Christmas

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Gordon LePage plays Scrooge in the Sandy River Players production of A Christmas Carol. The show opens Thursday night at UMF’s Alumni Theatre.

FARMINGTON – The Sandy River Players will be putting on a timeless, holiday classic over the next two weeks, with Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol opening on Thursday, Dec. 10 in UMF’s Alumni Theatre.

A veteran cast and director look to put their own stamp on a well-known tale. Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Gordon LePage, a hopeless miser and curmudgeon, receives visits from a number of spirits on Christmas Eve. From a chain-rattling ghost to merry carolers to Bob Crachit and the adorable “Tiny Till,” the performance is designed to give audiences a full dose of the holiday spirit, just in time for the season.

“It is a classic,” said Stephen Hobbs, who is playing the part of Marley, Scrooge’s former partner. “We’re presenting it in the traditional style and the audience should have quite a bit of fun. Every night is special and different.

Adam Randall provides the sound effects for A Christmas Carol.

Director Jayne Decker, who most recently directed A Midsummer’s Night Dream, which played in January, and her cast look forward to putting their own mark on A Christmas Carol.

LePage, who played the bumbling actor Bottom in A Midsummer’s Night Dream and the unscrupulous Fagin in last year’s Oliver Twist, said that he went through the script of A Christmas Carol like he was “reading it for the first time.”

“This is one of the most ‘done’ characters,” he said of Scrooge. “I have known some older, bitter people, a little like Scrooge, and I’m trying to go off of the way they moved and acted.”

Decker said she has enjoyed the challenge of working with a 40-member cast, featuring many actors from the same theatrically-oriented families. They will be performing with music by Jane Parker and featuring the quartet of Dan Woodward, Laura Church, Sarah Sloane and Matthew Black, who can be heard singing above. Decker also is excited about the inclusion of a Foley artist, who will provide live sound effects for the show.

“That isn’t something we usually do,” she said.

Adam Randall, a music arts major at the University of Maine at Farmington, will work with hinges, bells, hammers, metal pipes and other props to produce the sounds of a Victorian-era set. Decker will be assisted by Jared Hanna, lighting designer, and Jeff Watts, costume designer.

The Sandy River Players production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol runs over two weekends, Dec. 10,11,12 and 17,18,19 at 7:30 p.m. with one 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Dec. 13.

Ticket prices range from $8 to $14, with a special discount on opening night. Tickets may be purchased at Devaney, Doak & Garrett Booksellers, located on Broadway in downtown Farmington, or reserved by calling 779-7084 (listen carefully to the message for details).

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