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New Mexico State theater department to present holiday classic "A Christmas Carol"

The New Mexico State University Department of Theatre Arts and the American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC) will present Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" Nov. 28-Dec. 7 at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus.

A photo from the 2001 performance of "A Christmas Carol." This year's performance, which stars Timothy Dayne, as Scrooge, and Gabe Morrison, as Bob Cratchit, will be Nov. 28-Dec. 7 in the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus. (NMSU photo by Darren Phil

"A Christmas Carol" is a tale about the life of miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who is visited by three ghosts that attempt to show him the true meaning of Christmas. It was adapted and directed by Tom Smith, NMSU theater assistant professor, in 2001.

Smith, who will be directing this year's production, said there will be many more surprises for the audience.

"Let's just say that no matter what the weather's like outside, there'll be snow in Las Cruces during 'A Christmas Carol,'" Smith said.

Guest puppeteer Patti Smithsonian had been hired to create elaborate designs for the ghosts of Christmas Present and Future. The designs will include a 10-foot body puppet for the Ghost of Christmas Present and a 7-foot body puppet for the Ghost of Christmas Future.

Timothy Dayne, NMSU associate professor of theater, will play Scrooge and NMSU theater majors, Gabe Morrison and Morgan Aldrich will play Bob Cratchit and Mrs. Cratchit. The production also features young actors Israel Chavez, Chelsea Glaze, and Jackson and Lainie Whelpley.

"I love working with Tim," Smith said. "He brings a great sense of gusto and professionalism to the process. He'll be a fantastic Scrooge."

The music was composed by New York musician Roger Butterly and lyrics for four musical numbers were written by Smith. Scenic and lighting design is by resident designer Jim Billings and costume design by Glenn Breed, NMSU's costume shop foreman.

This year's production was funded through a grant from Target.

Tickets for "A Christmas Carol" are $8-$13, depending on performance time and date. For times and reservations call the ASTC box office at (505) 646-4515.