Festival at The Park Theatre honors Charles Dickens

The New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at The Park Theatre Dec. 9. 

The New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus will perform at The Park Theatre Dec. 9.  COURTESY PHOTO

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley will present

Lucinda Dickens Hawksley will present "An Evening with Mr. Dickens" Dec. 7. —PHOTO BY JOHN QUINTERO PHOTOGRAPHY

The Park Theatre will present “The Man Who Invented Christmas” Dec. 10.

The Park Theatre will present “The Man Who Invented Christmas” Dec. 10. —COURTESY PHOTO

Published: 12-05-2023 3:42 PM

The Park Theatre's inaugural New England Dickens Fest honors the British author Charles Dickens with holiday concerts, stage plays, movies, contests, a craft and food fair and more through Sunday, Dec. 10.

The festival’s Town Crier, "Mr. Obadiah Brimtop" (Bob Schaumann), will open the festival on Wednesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 pm in front of the theater with the reading of a proclamation as well as the cutting of the ceremonial opening ribbon by “Miss Havisham" (Susan Shaw-Sarles).

On Thursday, Dec. 7 at 7 p.m., “An Evening with Mr. Dickens” will be hosted by Dickens expert and his great-great-great granddaughter Lucinda Dickens Hawksley. She will narrate a performance of Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” with actors Lisa Bostnar and Ken Sheldon.

Hawksley has written award-winning books on Dickens, as well as the Victorian era, and lectures worldwide on her relative, whose novels include “Oliver Twist,” “David Copperfield,” “A Tale of Two Cities” and “Great Expectations.” A talkback question-and-answer session will follow the event. Tickets are $20 and $15 for children 12 and under.

Other events include Project Shakespeare’s debut of their 2023 production of “A Christmas Carol” Dec. 10, Ashuelot Concerts’ Mendelssohn, Schubert, Beethoven & Schumann Solo Piano Works Dec. 8, the New Hampshire Gay Men’s Chorus presentation of its “Holly, Jolly, Folly!” concert Dec. 9, Lindsay & Her Holiday Puppet Pals Dec. 9, and kazoo caroling with Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Dec. 9.

Contests include Ebenezer’s Best Whiskers & Beard Contest and Miss Havisham’s Brass Bed Race. 

Movies include the 1968 production of the musical “Oliver!” Dec. 9, and the recent film about Dickens, “The Man Who Invented Christmas” Dec. 10. There will also be craft and food vendors from around the Monadnock region, and regional restaurants will be adding special Dickens Fest featured items to their menus. 

“We are so excited to produce this new annual multi-day holiday festival in honor of Charles Dickens. We hope to bring folks from all over New England to our great town with a broad mix of entertainment, food, crafts, and contests. It will be an event filled with community spirit. We are fortunate to have M&T Bank as the sponsor. They understand the value of events such as this and what lasting impressions and memories are made,” stated Steve Jackson, CEO and managing director of The Park Theatre.

See The Park Theatre website for schedule and ticket information, or purchae tickets by calling the box office at 603-532-8888. Tickets will also be for sale at the box office before the screening.

The Park Theatre is at 19 Main St. in Jaffrey.