Christmas traditions are part of what makes the holiday special. In Fayetteville, one of the many holiday traditions is the annual presentation of A Christmas Carol by the Gilbert Theater. Held in conjunction with the Dickens’ Holiday, this year’s production will run Nov. 28 through Dec. 14. Shows will be on stage Thursday through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m.
    “This is the third year that The Gilbert Theater is presenting A Christmas Carol,” said Elysa K. Lenczyk, resident stage manager of The Gilbert Theater. The Charles Dickens’ classic, directed by Lenczyk, tells the tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, who holds anything other than wealth in contempt, including friendship, love and the Christmas season. It reveals what motivates people and how they cope with life situations. Over the course of the evening he undergoes a profound experience of redemption.   
    {mosimage}“We have about 25 volunteer cast members this year,” said Lenczyk. “We also have a new Scrooge this year.”
    Lenczyk added that there was an overwhelming number of students who auditioned for parts in the production and will be used as carolers in the show.         
    The Gilbert Theatre was founded in 1994 in the basement of Lynn Pryer’s home. It is named in honor of Marquis de Lafayette, for whom the city of Fayetteville is also named.  The theatre provides quality contemporary and classical theatre productions for. It is currently located on the corner of Green and Bow streets near the Market House in downtown Fayetteville.  
    The theater’s mission is to give local actors, musicians and artists a place where they can practice their craft and showcase their talents. There is a student review night where high school students are invited to meet with the director and cast members. The theater has highlighted the work of featured writers such as John Merritt, James Dean, Chris Canfield and Jim Geoghan and produced Eve Ensler’s, The Vagina Monologues to raise funds and awareness for the local Rape Crisis Center and C.A.R.E. Battered Women’s Shelter.       
    Other features for this upcoming season include References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot from Jan. 29, 2009 to Feb.15, 2009, On the Verge from March 19 to April 5 and Exits and Entrances from May 28 to June 14, 2009.         
“This is a production for children and it will not scare them,” said Lenczyk. “We look forward to the community coming and know they will enjoy the show.”  
    Doors and box office open one hour prior to the performance. Ticket price is $10 at the door using cash or check only. Reservations are recommended to guarantee seating and for groups of 10 or more advanced payment may be required.
    For more information about auditions or to make reservations call 678-7186 or email gilberttheater@aol.com.  
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