Replaced Humbug With Good Cheer

Last updated: November 19. 2013 11:15AM - 305 Views

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The classic story of Christmas cheer and the redemption of a cold-hearted miser, A Christmas Carol, will appear featuring a cast of 24 in sumptuous Victorian costuming and sets accompanied by beautiful renditions of traditional holiday songs at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts on Tuesday, Dec. 3 at 7:30 p.m.

So you think you know the story of Ebenezer Scrooge; the visitation by four ghosts who took him on an examination of his life, past, present and future; and his joyful embrace of the Christmas spirit?

But did you know Charles Dickens is actually credited with helping to revive the old Christmas traditions of England with this tale of holiday warm and joy? We think of Scrooge as being the exception when he heartlessly refuses to give Bob Cratchit the day off on Christmas. The truth is, A Christmas Carol, actually inspired an American factory owner to take the radical step of giving his employees Christmas off after he read it.

The story has been such a staple of the Christmas season that it is hard to believe it was ever any different. We take it for granted that Christmas is a day for celebrating rather than working. It seems almost impossible that it hasn’t always been the case.

It was only shortly before Dickens wrote the story in 1843 that the traditions of the Christmas tree, cards and carol singing had started to be introduced to England. Dickens intended it almost as a propaganda piece to encourage people to show charity to one another. He and his family had suffered tribulations when he was a child which made him empathetic to the suffering of others. Such sentiment was absent in Victorian England of his time. In addition to the American factory owner, there are many stories of people giving generously after reading the story.

Knowing all this provides an entirely new perspective on the power of Dickens’ story which has helped inspire a generous spirit in all people for 170 Christmases

Study Guide and Family Activities Available at http://sopaa.org/a-christmas-carol-2

Tickets for lower tier seating are $45 regular, $42 senior, $38 students, $15 children under 12. Upper tier prices discounted. Special discounts for families and groups.

Tickets and information are available 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the McKinley Box Office, 740-351-3600. Online through Ticketmaster at http://www.ticketmaster.com/venue/41868, or any TicketMaster outlet.

The performance of A Christmas Carol is sponsored by The Richard D. Martings Foundation and Suncoke Haverhill Operations.

The 2013-14 Southern Ohio Performing Arts Association/Shawnee State University season is presented with the support of the Ohio Arts Council, an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shawnee State University Development Foundation, the Martings Foundation and the Scioto Foundation.

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