Kingsport Times News Saturday, August 29, 2015

'A Christmas Carol' comes to life at Barter

November 15th, 2011 11:00 pm by staff report

Barter Theatre continues its Christmas tradition of bringing some of the best-loved holiday classics to life with its production of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” opening Friday on the main stage and continuing through Christmas Eve.

“There is a reason that Charles Dickens’ holiday tale is read and performed year after year after year,” said Richard Rose, who adapted and directs the play. “No matter how many times you have read it, seen a movie of it or seen it performed, the story still makes you laugh, cry at times and makes you long to be a better human being.

“There’s also a reason that people flock to performing arts in general as part of their holiday traditions. Much of the holiday season is about spending time with the ones you love, doing something kind for someone else and knowing that we can choose to not be alone in the world. ‘A Christmas Carol’ reminds us of this. My hope is the whole family will be delighted by the magic, surprise, special effects and professional actors coming together to get to the heart of this story.”

A cast featuring many Barter favorites — including Matthew Bivins, Ashley Campos, Sean Campos, Hannah Ingram, Erin Parker, Michael Poisson and Nathan Whitmer — transports audiences to a dream-like state in London during the mid-1840s.

Miserly old Ebenezer Scrooge is content making money — and making the lives of everyone around him as miserable as he is — until he’s paid a visit by some otherworldly beings, including the ghost of his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future.

Through a night of eye-opening experiences, Scrooge learns where the path of greed he’s on leads, and he doesn’t like what he sees. After his ghost-guided tour, Scrooge is relieved to learn that it’s not too late to change his fate.

Rose said he believes “A Christmas Carol” can help us all be better people, especially during the holidays.

“In the wake of corporate greed and the news that every day the rich get richer and the poor poorer, we need to be reminded to do our share, to give of our material wealth to those very much in need and to give of ourselves, unselfishly,” he said.

“No matter what, joy can be found in sharing with others.”

Rose, who also serves as Barter’s producing artistic director, has adapted several classic literary works for the stage, garnering rave reviews from both colleagues and patrons.

“While I don’t consider myself a playwright, many people have expressed their opinions of my work as some of the most true, wonderful and honest-to-the-book adaptations they’ve seen,” said Rose. “Sharing before it is too late is what ‘A Christmas Carol’ is about, and I hope the people of the region will share this wonderful season with Barter Theatre.”

Tickets are $31, $36 and $41. Student and group rates are available. For more information or to reserve a seat, call Barter Theatre at (276) 628-3991 or visit

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