Adams State’s Christmas Carol is a holiday present to community


ALAMOSA – Wrap up in a comfortable blanket, sip some eggnog and tune-in to “A Christmas Carol: A Holiday Ghost Story,” adapted and directed by John H Taylor, Ph.D. The Adams State University Theatre program presents this classic free on YouTube at Adams State University Theatre from December 1 until January 1; or visit event.adams.edu for access.

In the midst of the pandemic, this movie version of the stage play began production during the fall 2020 semester, with plans to release it for the annual Adams State Theatre Holiday 2020 Production. But like Scrooge, who has no control over the turn of events on Christmas Eve, filming was cut short when the virus caused Adams State to cut short in-person classes and the campus emptied of students and faculty.

Taylor and his student actors finished the filming in February 2021. The video is a new version of the beloved holiday classic and it provides a glimpse into how Adams State Theatre students and faculty created theatre during the global crisis. Theatre alumnus Brandon Billings, Class of 2020, worked with Taylor as the cinematographer for the project

“Doing this production required the ingenuity, creativity, and commitment of everyone in our program,” Taylor said. “I am especially grateful to Brandon for spending hours filming, editing, and crafting a beautiful film version of our stage play.”

The production has a contemporary, yet classic look and feel to it. It is a company of university actors putting on a stage play of “A Christmas Carol” in a haunted theatre in the age of COVID – with all of the restrictions and possibilities the pandemic brings with it. The production features a play-within-a-play: (1) the world of the company of actors and (2) the world of Dickens’ story with a few new twists.

The Adams State “Christmas Carol” is a ghost story about the greedy, mean-spirited Abigail Scrooge. On Christmas Eve, she encounters four spirits who take her on a journey through time. They force the self-centered Scrooge to examine the life she has led and let her see the misery she has created for herself and others.

Scrooge experiences a transformation when she confronts her past and present. “As she changes, she awakens socially, spiritually, and physically,” Taylor added. “The play is Scrooge’s journey from fear to hope. It is, at heart, a story of her personal redemption and, by extension, an opportunity for us all to profit from her example. In a societal context, more than a religious one, the play affirms that whatever our station is in life, we all have worth and every one of us is a blessed being.”

Taylor produced “A Christmas Carol” in 2000 and 2010, and each time, he has taken a different approach. “For this production, I want to emphasize that the lead role is open to any actor who will accept it. Thematically, it asserts that the possibility for transformation and redemption is available to any of us who is willing to go on that journey.”

The 2021 Adams State Theatre Production “Christmastime! Christmastime! A Holiday Variety Show” opens December 3 and continues Dec. 10, 11, and 12. Reserve your tickets for the in-person, live performance by calling 719-587-8499.

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