BECKLEY, W.Va. — The Treehouse Arts Ensemble’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ masterpiece “A Christmas Carol” will be presented this weekend at Tamarack in Beckley.

Treehouse Arts Vice-President Sandy Shrewsbury told MetroNews the classic Christmas tale of the cold-hearted, miserly protagonist Ebeneezer Scrooge is one of her favorite live theater productions, though it’s also one of the most demanding and time-consuming, for everyone involved.

“We actually start planning for the ‘Christmas Carol’ once we end the ‘Christmas Carol.’  It’s kind of a year-long process.  Because we’re all volunteers, and because we’re a not-for-profit, once the director has determined who’s going to be doing the show, he or she starts planning the show, almost immediately.  Normally, auditions are in early fall.  And then, there’s a good six weeks of rehearsals,” she said.

Nearly half of the cast of “A Christmas Carol” are children, and Shrewsbury said she’s pleased that many of the amateur actors who show up for auditions, year-to year, are young people who have been involved in previous Treehouse Arts performances.

“What we are finding is that a lot of these children that come back every year to be in the show have actually now become members of their middle school drama club or their high school drama club.  And so, they’re getting involved at community theater at a young age, and it’s continuing over into their lives,” said Shrewsbury, who noted that the organization’s board of directors is planning to offer a children’s theater camp, next summer.

“A Christmas Carol” returns to the Governor Hulett C. Smith Theater’s stage at Tamarack on Dec. 7 and 8, 7 pm-9pm on both nights.  Tickets can be purchased online at http://tamarackwv.com.  As of Dec. 6, there were a limited number of tickets still available for both evenings.

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