Elyza Lenczyk knew she had a big task ahead of her when she took on the job of telling the story of Tiny Tim, Bob Cratchit and Ebenezer Scrooge at the Gilbert Theater.
    Lenczyk, who has worked at the Gilbert for three years as the stage manager, has not directed a stage play since her college days, and now she finds herself at the helm of the holiday’s biggest production, A Christmas Carol, which will run at the Gilbert through Dec. 14.
    “I was a little anxious when I started,” said Lenczyk, “but so many people have stepped up to help me out that I’ve lost that anxiety.”
    {mosimage}And besides, Lenczyk has a solid template to draw from: everyone, from ages 1 to 92 knows the story of A Christmas Carol,” and it’s a script Lenczyk will not stray from.
    “It will be a traditional telling of the story,” said Lenczyk. “What everyone knows.”
    The main cast is not a large one, featuring the following ready-for-prime-time players: Fenton Wilkinson as Scrooge; Joyce Lipe as the narrator; Evan Bridenstine as Marley; Carrie Carroll as Spirit 1; Laura Lamm as Spirit 2; Jonathan DeAraujo as the nephew and Spirit 3; Charles Lee as  Bob Cratchit; Jane Moran as Mrs. Cratchit; and Matthew Kafel as Tiny Tim.
    There are a host of extras, including a number of children who will add a twist to the production by performing Christmas carols throughout the production.
    While Lenczyk praises and welcomes the inclusion of the child performers in A Christmas Carol, she says it did make rehearsal problematic.
    “We went light on rehearsal on the weekdays because I didn’t want to disturb the school schedules of the children,” said Lenczyk. “In fact, we did most of our rehearsal on the weekends, which was more convenient for the families. The parents were extremely supportive and the children are all very eager performers.”
    While Lenczyk says the play itself will follow the standard Dickens’ storyline, there will be something new for theater goers ... something that is aesthetically pleasing.
“The set is really beautiful this year,” said Lenczyk. “This is the third year I’ve worked on the set and while it’s going to be technically easier, it is beautiful. Charles Lee was a huge help in putting together the set, which we’ve streamlined.
    “We’ve already gotten a lot of comments on the beauty of the set,” added a proud Lenczyk.
    Lenczyk also says the props are more plentiful this year than in Christmases past.
    “The costumes will be gorgeous,” said Lenczyk. “We want to build up our stock of Dickens costumes and this year we’ve purchased some really authentic-looking Victorian frocks and hats.
    “It’s been a real chore to pull off this production,” said Lenczyk. “I’ve worn an awful lot of hats doing this. But it’s been a lot of fun and I think the folks who come and see it are in for a great show.”
    The production runs through Dec. 14, Thursdays through Saturdays - 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Doors and the box office open one hour prior to the performance. Ticket price is $10 at the door.  Reservations are highly recommended. To reserve seats, e-mail your reservation to gilberttheater@aol.com, or call (910) 678-7186.

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