Chief Players shine in ‘A Dickens Christmas Carol’ |

Chief Players shine in ‘A Dickens Christmas Carol’

Cast members rehearse for this weekend's performances of "A Dickens' Christmas Carol" at the Chief Theater. Pictured from left are Benjamin Kiser as Scrooge, April Garland as the first spirit, Keith Early as young man Scrooge and Hayden Curry as Belle.
Courtesy photo

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — ‘Tis the season for all things holiday, and this weekend, you can catch one of the classics at the Chief Theater when the Chief Players present “A Dickens Christmas Carol” with four show times over the weekend.

“I’ve wanted the Chief Players to do an authentic version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ for years,” said the Chief’s Executive Director Scott Parker. “In researching scripts, I found “A Dickens Christmas Carol” to be as close to the book as you can get.”

This particular production, which has been in rehearsals since October, is a traditional retelling of Dickens’ classic story, which was first published in 1843. Written by Gary Peterson, he maintained the original feel of the piece, letting the story be told mainly through dialogue and staging.

The production marks the fifth annual holiday show for the theater. The tradition began with youth productions including “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” “Scrooge’s Christmas,” “The Santa Claus Chronicles,” “An Elf in Elementary School” and an original play called “Rudolph,” written by Kristin Cronin.

The Chief Players, made up of theater-loving actors, directors and tech junkies, was formed in the fall of 2013 when the group put on Agatha Christie’s “The Mousetrap.” Since then, they have done nearly 30 productions, including a live Western melodrama each summer and an improv show each February. In addition to shows, they have hosted a director’s workshop and several “Evening of One Acts,” in which several of the members have written and produced one-act plays.

This year’s holiday production will feature cast members of all different ages, from youth to adult.

“This is the first year that we did our best to cast people in age-appropriate roles,” Parker explained. “Kids play kids, and adults play adults. … It’s been a great opportunity for the older actors to mentor the younger actors.”

Kirk Aigner, who plays Bob Cratchit, agrees.

“It’s been a lot of fun for our actors of all ages to be involved in a show together,” Aigner said. “I think the kids get some valuable experience acting alongside and learning from experienced adults, and the adults get some much needed energy and enthusiasm from working with the kids.”

If you go

What: “A Dickens Christmas Carol”
When: 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 12; 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 13; 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14; and 4 and 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15
Where: Chief Theater, 813 Lincoln Ave.
Tickets: $15 available at the Chief Theater or All That

In addition to the actors, for the first time, the Chief Players will collaborate with the Yampa Valley Singers for this production, with special performances by Bruce Dean, Andrew Pratt and Suzy Bouzo.

“The singing is out of this world,” Parker said.

This weekend’s production is directed by Chris Wadopian, who, according to Parker, has been one of the most active Chief Players since he got involved several years ago. Wadopian has been in many productions, including playing the lead in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “All New People” and “The Secret of Yonder Mountain.” Last year, he directed Cabaret.

The cast and crew are looking forward to the weekend.

“Just as Cabaret has become a spring mud season tradition for the performing arts, a Chief Players’ Christmastime production has also become a holiday tradition for the early winter in Steamboat,” Aigner said.

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