Shakespeare for Everyone

 

2000
Sixth Street, Brooklyn
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by Charles Dickens
adapted and directed by Alex Roe

 

Charles Dickens was born on February 7, 1812, the second of eight children born to John Dickens, a Naval pay clerk, and Elizabeth Barrow Dickens. The circumstances of Dickens’ childhood greatly influenced his writings. His father spent time in debtors’ prison and the family lived in a series of sordid homes. Young Charles loved books, but he had little formal education. He was frail and sickly but at age 12 was sent to work in the warehouse of a “blacking” factory, where rats ran underfoot. The company made the chemicals used to blacken pots, pans and ironworks. Dickens’ job was to label the blacking pots.

He was appalled by the unsanitary conditions in London and worked tirelessly throughout his life to establish public works for sewers, clean water and cleanliness in the streets. Dickens championed the cause of the poor and downtrodden, especially women and children. However, his political views and his suggestions for social improvement were often controversial. He felt that poverty should be solved by giving poor people honest, though poorly paid, work. His attitudes about women were decidedly Victorian.

Beginning in 1833, Dickens published numerous articles, stories and novels. Many of the novels were originally printed in serial form with each installment anxiously awaited on both sides of the Atlantic. Besides A Christmas Carol, his most famous works include David Copperfield, Great Expectations, A Tale of Two Cities, Oliver Twist, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Curiosity Shop, The Pickwick Papers, Bleak House and Little Dorrit.

Dickens visited the United States twice, in 1842 and 1867. He met many of the prominent American writers of the time: Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe, Horace Greeley, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Washington Irving. Dickens was concerned about the pirating of his works in the United States and argued in favor of international copyrights. He alo spent three summers at a retreat in Boulogne, France, where he met George Sand. The translation of his works into French began his ever-widening popularity.

I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it. Their faithful Friend and Servant,
C. D.

December, 1843.

 

CAST

First Narrator

Yvonne Marchese

Scrooge

Joseph Small

Bob Cratchit

Ian Gould

Fred

Donald Bledsoe

Almsman

John Flaherty

Caroleers

Juliet Meccia
Miranda Knutson

Marley

Frank Smith

Second Narrator

Ian Gould

Christmas Past

Renée Bucciarelli

Fan

Miranda Knutson

Fezziwig

John Flaherty

Belle

Bev Lacy

Third Narrator

Renée Bucciarelli

Christmas Present

John Flaherty

Mrs. Cratchit

Bev Lacy

Martha Cratchit

Mirand Knutson

Peter Cratchit

Frank Smith

Tiny Tim

Juliet Meccia

Fred's Wife

Yvonne Marchese

Fourth Narrator Donald Bledsoe
Christmas Yet to Come Yvonne Marchese
Bankers Frank Smith
John Flaherty

Parasite

Renée Bucciarelli

Joe John Flaherty
Fifth Narrator Bev Lacy

CREW

Properties Lucie Chin
Incidental Music Ada Ng
James David Jacobs
Sound Alex Roe
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