112017 JrOPTP Christmas

Sofia Andre as the Spirit of Christmas Past and Mason Beckham as Ebenezer Scrooge rehearse a scene from the Junior Orangeburg Part-Time Players' upcoming production of "A Christmas Carol" Monday night at the BlueBird Theatre. View more photos online @TheTandD.com.

CHRISTOPHER HUFF, T&D

The Junior Orangeburg Part-Time Players bring the classic tale of a man transformed by the spirit of Christmas to the stage next month as they present “A Christmas Carol.”

The play by Gayann Truelove and Tammy Barton is based on the novella by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who is visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man.

Mitzie DeAloia is the director of the local show, with Blake Cramer providing musical direction.

“We’re having a great time,” DeAloia said. “I wanted to do something at Christmas for a good while now. My first choice would have been ‘Babes in Toyland,’ but doing such a big show in the summertime and having such a short rehearsal schedule makes it kind of hard.”

“So that’s why we chose to do something that was short,” she said. “I always cast everybody just primarily so that everybody can get a role.”

She said Christmas is her favorite time of year and she loves children. “And so I want to do all I can to spend time with them at Christmas. I’m Mrs. Claus,” DeAloia said, referencing the role she plays around the city during the holiday season.

“There’s nothing better than having my children around me at this particular time of the year,” she said.

And with dozens of kids in the cast, there’s plenty of love to go around.

High school seniors Sofia Andre and Mason Beckham have leading roles in the production.

“I’m the Spirit of Christmas Past,” Andre said. “And basically Scrooge is just pretty bitter about Christmas in general because in the past, he hasn’t had the best Christmas, you could say.”

“Over the course, he is visited by three spirits, me being the first one. And over the course of the show, you see his view of Christmas is slightly changing,” she said.

“Overall, it’s been a great show, working with all these kids,” Andre said. “We just all have fun.”

Playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge is a first for Beckham.

“I’ve never been the villain/bad-guy-type person, so it’s been kind of fun being mean,” he said.

“I wasn’t in this last show over the summer because I was student directing, so it’s fun to be back on stage and just get back into the show’s environment,” Beckham said.

Show times are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2, and 6 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3, at the BlueBird Theatre on Russell Street in downtown Orangeburg.

All reserved seats are $10. For tickets, call the BlueBird box office at 803-536-5454.Bi

Contact the writer: chuff@timesanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5543.

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