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Goodwill spread at ‘Christmas Carol’ productions

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—

  • Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of Christmas spirit and good will towards men with the cast of Project Shakespeare's A Christmas Carol. Staff Photo by Meghan Pierce—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, December 26, 2018 5:26PM

Audiences came together for the past three weekends in venues across the Monadnock Region, to share in the message of the Christmas spirit and good will toward all with Project Shakespeare’s 10th annual holiday season production of “A Christmas Carol.”

Project Shakespeare is a youth theatre program run by Jaffrey’s Deborah Shakespeare Thurber (yes, that’s her real name) with a passion and zeal for welcoming children of all ages into the world of theatre. As its name suggests the program has a focus on the works of William Shakespeare, especially during its summer season when Project Shakespeare usually tackles two Shakespeare plays. However, for the past decade the troupe has taken a break from the Bard during the holiday season to bring Charles Dickens “A Christmas Carol” to life.

The story this year was narrated by Charles Dickens himself, played by 18-year-old Connor Ahern, who brought heart and holiday cheer to the role as well as the role of Bob Cratchit, which he also took on along with the role of Young Scrooge.

Friday night’s show was held in Ahern’s hometown of Rindge in the First Congregational Church. As Ahern’s Dickens brought the audience into the world of the story, actors as young as six and as old as 18 flooded the stage, all in gorgeous period costume. Then from the crowd, Ahern brought forth the story’s infamous protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Anna Wentworth, 17, of Jaffrey.

Wentworth brought energy and depth, and a touch of comedy, to her performance of a slimy pre-redemption Scrooge, the stubborn yet regretful Scrooge in the process of redemption and later an exuberant Scrooge post-redemption.

Ahern and Wentworth were surrounded by a supporting cast and ensemble that created the lively Victorian London streets and brought life to Scrooge’s past, present and future. The children impressively weaved the world together seamlessly, dancing at the Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Party and singing Christmas carols that help pave the pathway to Scrooge’s redemption with the joy, sincerity and the holiday spirit Scrooge strives to achieve himself by the end of the story.

Following the Friday night show in Rindge, Project Shakespeare closed its 10th season of “A Christmas Carol” with two sold out shows, at the Jaffrey Civic Center on Saturday and then at the Monadnock Inn in Jaffrey on Sunday.

There is nothing like the energy young people can bring to theatre, especially to a holiday classic like “A Christmas Carol. ” And I certainly hope the Project Shakespeare tradition of honoring the lessons learned by Scrooge and to keep the Christmas spirit alive in our hearts continue for many a year.

You can learn more about the program online at http://ccommagic.wixsite.com/projectshakespeare.