'Christmas Carol' coming to Princess Theatre

By Dori O'Neal, Herald staff writer November 18, 2011 

PROSSER -- The Valley Theater Co. is winding down its 50th year of bringing theater to the Lower Valley for with the production A Christmas Carol.

The nonmusical version of the drama opens Nov. 25 at the Princess Theatre in downtown Prosser and will include all of Charles Dickens' memorable characters, including the ornery Ebenezer Scrooge, adorable Tiny Tim, dependable Bob Cratchit and the ghosts of Jacob Marley as well as the spirits of Christmas past, present and future.

"A Christmas Carol is a favorite of mine," said director Rick James. "I've always been attracted to the wonderful way Dickens tells a story about the feelings of a season and mixes it with the paranormal."

Starring as Scrooge will be David Sullivan of Prosser, with Terry Langley of Yakima portraying Scrooge's former, and very dead, business partner Marley.

Portraying Scrooge's long-suffering employee Bob Cratchit will be Bobby Garcia from Prosser, with James Householder from Grandview as Cratchit's son Tiny Tim.

"Dickens created a man who hates Christmas, combines that with four ghosts who help him and the audience, or reader, understand why he hates this particular day, how the day should be spent and the consequences if he doesn't get the message," James said. "Even though this tale is set at Christmastime, the message reminds us how we should view life and treat other people year-round."

The ghosts of Christmas past, present and future are played by Katherine Ammerman of Prosser, Fred Bray of Prosser and Mike Wall of Grandview, respectively. Sue Bray provides musical direction.

"I think people will love this story because it touches a chord at the basic human level, which is the need to connect with others," James said. "It's what humanity should be about."

An example is the relationship between Scrooge and Tiny Tim. Both are disabled, Tim physically and Scrooge mentally, and on a subconscious level Scrooge recognizes that, James said.

James has adapted, directed and been in A Christmas Carol three times, and each time he said he understands the moral of the story more clearly.

Another benefit to the family-friendly A Christmas Carol is that no royalties are required to present the play.

"That's a significant (factor) for a company working to purchase the Princess Theatre and make it its home," James said.

The VTC has been managing the Princess Theatre for the past year and hopes to raise money to purchase the theater in the near future.

Showtime for A Christmas Carol is at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25-26 and Dec. 2, with a 2 p.m. matinee Dec. 3.

The historic Princess Theatre is at 1228 Meade Ave. Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door or Adventures Underground in Richland, Guerra's Coffee Company in Sunnyside, Safeway in Grandview or Sixth Street Art Gallery in Prosser.

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