This Friday and Saturday the play John and I have been thinking about and dreaming about for over a year will finally happen. A Christmas Carol has been a long time favorite of John’s for years and he even played Bob Cratchit in a previous version for several years. So when we decided it would be a good idea to put on a full length play at our Church, he put up a very convincing discussion for choosing it as our first one.
I have to admit, I was sceptical. In general, I am not a big Charles Dickens fan. I can hear some of you more literary readers groaning at me from here, but the truth is I find him to be wordy and long on description and narration and short on actual dialogue. So…I hemmed and hawed and tried to come up with a different idea but in the end…Dickens won out.
And I couldn’t be happier that it did.
While adapting the book to a script that would suit our audience, I had the opportunity to read the book over and over, and over and over again. I became enthralled with the messages behind the story,and knew that they were the exact inspirational messages we wanted to share for the holiday season.
The story of the transformation of a lonely, bitter, self-serving man who hadn’t a friend to call his own is a remarkable story of hope for us all. Scrooge isolated himself from his family, his community and any hope of love in his life just to follow his dream of creating wealth. In doing so, he lost the quality of his life. The lessons learned by the visits of Marley and the three Christmas ghosts showed him the error of his ways and gave him a new desire to become close with his family and help his employee and community. He opened himself up to the amazing power of love and is re-created a new man, one of hope, compassion and kindness. We are reminded that our actions DO affect others and that the choices we make create a destiny for us that can’t be avoided. In our choices we can choose love or loneliness.
Scrooge was able to transform the destiny of his life by making a new choice. A choice to live on purpose with love in his heart for his fellowman. And he was able to do so in the blink of a decision.
The holidays are a difficult time for many people. A lack of good quality relationships create a deep well of loneliness and despair for isolated people. Depression is rampant this time of the year. The lesson of Scrooge reminds us to reach out to others and live a life of charity, kindness and love for all. It’s a message that can’t be mentioned enough. In this day of financial worry and tension, these companionships mean all the more. It doesn’t take money to reach out and care. A simple word of encouragement, a smile, a word of comfort can make such a difference in someone’s life. And it only takes a second.
There have been other lessons learned and highlighted in putting on this play. I have been constantly amazed at the pouring out of generosity, hard work and sacrifice from the cast and crew and the congregation. Everyone has pitched in and helped in so many ways that my gratitude for all of them is overflowing. The teamwork has been incredible.
A year ago, this play was just the seed of a dream, a lofty someday goal. But with everyone working together, sharing resources, time and energy, it has become a reality. It isn’t the success of just one person but rather the accumalation of many different miracles, faith and hard work.
When a group of people gather with a united vision, anything is possible.
I am so proud to be a part of that vision. I am so inspired by working alongside some truly amazing people of faith and generosity. I am so honored that they put their faith in us and helped to make this dream come true.
It’s all been too amazing to put in words.
Except maybe these words…
And God bless us, everyone!
Very cool, I know this weekend will be a grand success for you, John, and all the people involved in making this become a reality!
And the message being shared from “A Christmas Carol” is one of hope – hope in what is possible through love and kindness. What a great message to hear this Christmas season!
How often do we let the “scrooge” in us come out? I wonder how many times in my life I’ve been a “scrooge” instead of really being of service to others. That’s the great message I hear from this story – how does this relate to me, directly? What can I do to be less Scrooge-like? And, so that’s a great message for me this morning as I read your words, Wendi.
I wish you much success this weekend. May God bless every one in your production. And, may that the message you are sharing be one that enters into the hearts of all the people in attendance.
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Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome says
It’s interesting how fear is used as Scrooge’s motivation. Once he was made aware of what his future would be like, his fear of that future caused him to make life-changing choices.
I know that I use the fear of not becoming a published author propel me forward when I don’t feel like writing. I want that recognition and can’t imagine a life without it. (yes, I’m an attention hound)
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Thank you! That is a good question for all of us..How can we be less Scrooge like? How can we honor Christmas in our heart all year long?
That is a great point about how fear is the prime motivator in the story. It is true that more people ar motivated by fear than just dreaming of success. I wish it wasn’t that way but it is. My mom always said, nobody changes until they are hurting enough. I think a great deal of the time, she is right.
Stacey Shipman says
Recently I was reading the Grinch Who Stole Christmas with my niece and nephew and there is a similar message – open your heart and you open yourself up for so much joy, courage and possibility.
Per your response to Alex – I definitely agree with your mom – change doesn’t happen until your hurting enough. And many of us aren’t hurting that much…that’s the irony!
Congratulations and good luck with the play!
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As someone who had been politely harassed for MONTHS about stage managing this little production, I have seen it grow from that little seed and into the reality that is a truly wonderful play. All who see it will truly be entertained and filled with the message. What you and John have done should be an inspiration to all, to those who never in a million years thought they’d be acting on stage, to those who just brought their child to auditions not expecting to get a part, to those who have longed to be the best they can be and expand their horizons. You and John have made this such a memorable experience and I am glad that I am a part of it!
You really should read this post to the cast and crew, they would enjoy it!
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Please, sir, may I have so more?
(No, wait..that’s the wrong Dickens story!) 🙂
Don’t I remember a girl somewhere in the picture that rejected him?
No one ever seems to see Scrooge as the emotional victim and just trying to protect his heart from being broken again.
Melissa Donovan says
I wish I could see your play Wendi. I bet it’s going to be wonderfully heartwarming. Oh, and you can say you know at least one English major who doesn’t have mad love for Mr. Dickens. With all due respect for him, I too find his prose a bit long-winded. Have a great show! Can’t wait to hear all about it 😉
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John Kelly says
You’re absolutely right. At risk of showing myself to be the Dickens geek that I am, Scrooge is both a victim and a co-conspirator. Here are some of the things he faced:
-As a child, his mother died giving birth to Scrooge
-His father faulted him for that
-Because of that, while boarding schools are common, he is not invited home for -Christmas, so that holiday becomes a symbol of loneliness
-Fan, his sister who he loved and who loved him, died giving birth to Fred
-Scrooge faulted Fred for that
How he is a co-conspirator is that he chose finances as his measure of life success. Not love or even physical comfort (he doesn’t even make himself comfortable). Belle (his love) didn’t leave him, she “released him”. He chose to not go after her.
I think the most powerful message for me is not just his transformation, its that despite having my life path push me in a given direction…. I have the power and choice to change course. And the most powerful source of change for me personally, is the recognition of what I am contributing to my momentum down that path.
To use Wendi’s earlier post, not only am I the frog, but often, I’ve filled the pot with water and lit the match. And the only thing sillier than doing that is when I waste time or energy blaming the heat.
The Grinch who Stole Christmas is another good show. It would be fun to do that some time….hmmm…..wonder how we could fit that in….
( Ok, I’m sure I just sent John and Jenny into heart attack mode!)
Oliver. One of the plays I love with all my heart.
I can’t think of much to add to what John said to you! Good thoughts there…
I wish you ALL could be there! ( Thanks for backing me up on the Dicken’s writing. I do have to say, he had some wonderful lines and great themes!)
WELL DONE! Ready to do a guest post? Thanks for adding your wonderul thoughts!
Jenny, Didn’t mean to skip you. Thank you for those wonderful words. And..I hounded you to be my stage manager because I LOVE working with the best stage manager there is! Don’t discount your own part in making this show great! You are awesome!
I have to laugh at Oliver Twist. Because we studied the book in Grade 13 English.
By the end of the (300-400?) pages, we were so sick of the story, the general consensus of the class was that Oliver was a “suck” who cried all the time, and we no longer felt sorry for him.
(Teenagers can be so heartless, can’t they?) 😉
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I didn’t like READING Olvier Twist, I liked watching the Play/ Once again, Dicken’s as a writer….snooze!
Jewel/Pink Ink says
That’s great! Congratulations. How wonderful that you envisioned something as ambitious as The Christmas Carol and you made it happen !!
It is one of our favorite stories as a family at Christmas (we like watching the muppet movie version 🙂
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I think that is the part that is so hard to get into my head. Once it was a little seed, and then a year later…it was a huge production.
It’s easy to think it must have been some kind of miracle, but really…it was a lot of blood sweat and tears and Teamwork from a ton of people.
I see a different side to the play and a fitting reason why it is done during the Christmas season. What I see is the promise of salvation through Christ exhibited by the second chance Scrooge was given. Scrooge was able to “play it forward” so to speak.
Our spirits in the night being the Holy Spirit,faith and the stories and traditions recorded in the Holy Bible.
Cath Lawson says
Hi Wendi – It sounds like you had a great time and got a lot out of the play. I guess it’s easy to think of Scrooge and think – what a dick. But what you say is true – there’s so many people out there who feel lonely at this time of year.
Folk who are already depressed often feel worse when everyone else seems happy. And as you say, it doesn’t take much to reach out to them and make them feel better – just a few kind words.
We did get SO much out of the play. And the most important thing is how rewarding it turned out to be for the cast and crew. And the whole church as well. IT was a great experience!
I grew up reading and listening to and loving Dickens. I can almost recite A Christmas Carol by heart. 🙂
I hope your play was a huge success, though I’m sure it was after such a year of hard work and preparation!
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I am glad you love it that much. I certianly have come to appreciate it a lot more after this play!
Darren Daz Cox says
🙂 I wish I could see that play!
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