“A Christmas Carol” Tradition Returns to the Clarence Brown Theatre Mainstage

Jed Diamond as Scrooge Photo: Brynn Yeager

With stunning costumes, beautiful carols, and $10 tickets for children 5 to 12, the heartwarming “A Christmas Carol,” returns to the Clarence Brown mainstage November 27 through December 21.  At each performance, patrons can enhance the experience by enjoying holiday treats at the concession stand and taking pictures with “Scrooge and Tiny Tim” in a specially designed photo experience which will be stationed in the main lobby. The $10 children’s tickets can only be purchased by calling or stopping by the Box Office at 865-974-5161.  UT Faculty/Staff receive 20% off ticket prices.  Students see the previews for FREE and the rest of the performances for $5, excluding Opening Night. Groups of 8 or more see the show for $15 at the December 1st and 8th 7:30 pm performances. Don’t get scammed!  The Clarence Brown Theatre only sells tickets through Knoxvilletickets.com or by phone at the CBT Box Office at (865) 974-5161.

The Pay What You Wish Preview performance, where patrons can name their own price, will be held Wednesday, November 27th.  Half of the proceeds from PWYW tickets will benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Knoxville.   Behind the Scenes Sunday will take place following the Sunday, December 1 matinee.  Deaf Night @ the Theatre, where all patron interactions including the performance is interpreted in American Sign Language, will take place Tuesday, December 3 at 7:30 pm.  A Talk Back with the actors will take place Sunday, December 8 following the matinee. The Open Captioned performance is Sunday, December 15 at 2:00 pm.

The production is sponsored by Schaad Companies, Pilot Flying J, Aubrey’s, Rotary Club of Knoxville, and UT Federal Credit Union.  Media sponsors are WBIR, WUOT, WUTK, B97.5, the Daily Beacon, and the Knoxville News Sentinel.  Free and convenient parking is available in the McClung Tower Garage on Volunteer Boulevard.

In “A Christmas Carol,” miserly boss, Ebenezer Scrooge is forced to face the true cost of his behavior in a series of supernatural visits from ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future.

“Remembrance and Forgiveness. Ignorance and Want. Those four concepts continually circled my thoughts as I prepared for this production of “A Christmas Carol” and reconsidered the impact of Charles Dickens’s classic novel.  His Victorian world—so similar to our own—contained the hollows of despair for a remarkable number of his countrymen. Poverty, homelessness and hunger disenfranchised children and adults as they scrambled for a few crumbs of human warmth and decency. Not content to simply contrast this cultural underbelly to Victorian middle-class comfort, Dickens ingeniously chose to tell of the transformation of one man whose own heart mirrors that disenfranchisement from generosity and mercy,” said Director Kathleen F. Conlin.

Kathleen F. Conlin (Director) has enjoyed a multi-faceted career as professional stage director, casting director, associate artistic director, university administrator and award-winning professor. She served for twenty-two seasons as Associate Artistic Director and Casting Director for Utah Shakespeare Festival. She has guest directed at Kent State University, Illinois Opera in productions at the Krannert Center, Definition Theatre, a multi-ethnic professional theatre in Chicago, Colony Theatre in LA, Peterborough Players Michigan Repertory, Theatre South Carolina, and others.  At the University of Illinois, she served as both Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts and the Barnard Hewitt Professor of Theatre/Director in Residence. A native of Ohio, she also has served as Director of Theatre at Ohio University and Chair of Theatre at Ohio State University. She was most recently the Frank B. Weeks Visiting Professor and Department Chair at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Terry Silver-Alford (Musical Director) serves as Distinguished Lecturer for the UT Theatre Department and teaches Musical Theatre Performance, Honors Introduction to the Theatre and Acting. He has worked professionally as a director, musical director, performer and composer at theaters across the country, including the California Theatre Center, Madison Repertory, Madison Children’s Theatre, among others. Terry has directed or musically directed numerous productions and has created the scores for four original musicals and a variety of chamber and vocal music pieces. CBT musical direction credits include: “Urinetown,” “Violet,” “The Threepenny Opera,” “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” “Kiss Me, Kate,” “A Christmas Carol” and others. In addition to CBT, he directs or musically directs shows locally, including The Flying Anvil Theatre.

Jed Diamond (Scrooge) is Head of Acting at UT.  At the CBT, roles in: “Of Mice and Men,” “A Shayna Maidel,” “Noises Off,” “On the Razzle,” “A Christmas Carol,” “Woyzeck,” “Oedipus the King,” and “A Streetcar Named Desire,” among others.   Prior to UT, Mr. Diamond was based in New York, where he worked as an actor, teacher, and director for 18 years. He was founding faculty of the Actors Center and the Shakespeare Lab at the New York Shakespeare Festival. He taught at NYU, Stella Adler Studio, Playwrights Horizons Theatre School, Fordham University, and privately. In August, he was in “Life Sucks” Off-Broadway with Wheelhouse Theatre Co.  He has also acted at the Roundabout Theatre, Signature Theatre, NY Shakespeare Festival, the Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Arena Stage, with the Acting Company and Syracuse Stage Company.  

UT faculty, visiting guests and community actors include:  David Brian Alley (Marley/Old Joe); Roderick Peeples (Fezziwig/Christmas Present/Ens); Laura Beth Wells (Mrs. Dilber/Mrs. Fezziwig/Ens); Brian Gligor (Fred/Ens); Vivienne Joy Rose Bullard (Tiny Tim/Ens); Cannon Coykendall (Tiny Tim/Ens); Cameron Skillen (Martha Cratchit/Ens); Anna Apking (Mary Cratchit/Ens); Winter Easterling (Alice Cratchit/Ens); Mary Jane Miller (Belinda Cratchit/Ens); Joshua Cross (Smudge/Ens); Irelyn Easterling (Remembrance/Ignorance/Ens); and Sofia Silvan (Forgiveness/Want/Ens).

Graduate and undergraduate students include:  Brittany Marie Pirozzoli (Christmas Past/Madeline/Ens); Rachel Darden (Christmas Future/Ens); Aleah Vassell (Catherine/Ens); Brady Craddock (Boy Scrooge/Ens); Gwyneth Doppelt (Fan/Ens); Brady Moldrup (Young Scrooge/Topper/Ens); Brenda Orellana (Belle/Lucy/Ens); Collin Andrews (Bob Cratchit/Ens); Christine Sage (Mrs. Cratchit/Liza/Ens); Guthrie Butler (Peter Cratchit/Dick Wilkins/Ens); Michael Najman (Scadger/Ens); Nicholas Johnson (Mudd/Barnaby/Ens); Owen Squire Smith (Grimgrind/Philpot/Ens); Jordan Gatton-Bumpas (Oatway/Ens); Davion T. Brown (Twyce/Ens); Zach Lidstone (Miner/Ens); and Peter Mayer (Reverend/Ens).

The creative team for this production includes:  Kevin Depinet (Scenic Designer), Bill Black (Costume Designer); John Horner (Lighting Designer); Joe Payne (Projection Designer); and Mike Ponder (Sound Designer). Also contributing to the production are Casey Sams (Choreographer), Katie Cunningham (Voice Coach), and Patrick Lanczki (Stage Manager) and Dana Angellis (Assistant Stage Manager).

Preview for “A Christmas Carol” is Wednesday, November 27 followed by Opening Night Friday, November 29. The production runs through December 21. UT faculty/staff, senior citizens, children and students receive discounts.

With a dual mission to train the next generation of theatre artists and to provide top quality professional theatre, the Clarence Brown Theatre at the University of Tennessee Knoxville is one of only 12 academic LORT (League of Resident Theatre) institutions in the nation with a professional theater on campus.  Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Calvin MacLean and Interim Managing Director Thomas Cervone, the CBT season runs from August through May and features eight productions ranging from musicals to drama. 

The CBT provides a cultural resource for both the university and the larger East Tennessee community and affirms diversity and inclusivity in all their forms.

For more information or tickets, call the CBT Box Office at 865-974-5161 or visit us online at http://clarencebrowntheatre.com/.  Stay connected to the Clarence Brown Theatre on Facebook (Clarence Brown Theatre), follow us on Twitter (@ClarenceBrown) and view Clarence Brown videos on YouTube (Clarence Bro).