New Repertory Theatre, in collaboration with arsenalArts and Watertown Children’s Theatre, revives its popular adaptation of Dickens’ classic holiday story, which has all the trimmings of a lavish Victorian Christmas. The production offers a feast for the senses from singing and dancing – the performers accompany themselves on over a dozen different instruments – to ghosts that fly through the air and evaporate into the London fog. Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth year, is the perfect holiday celebration.
“I very much look forward to directing Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” states director Steven Barkhimer. “For three seasons, I was in the production as The Ghost of Christmas Present and can appreciate the special spirit, as well as the technical complexities, of this unique adaptation.”
Mr. Barkhimer adds, “I am excited to work once more with these talented actors, both veterans and newcomers, to share this heartfelt Dickens story, and to remind us how each holiday season, it touches and delights audiences of every age, size, and persuasion.”
This collaborative tradition features a cast of area favorites including Paul D. Farwell, box theater returning for his fifth year as Scrooge, as well as some exciting new faces. Ella Miller is extremely excited to be joining the cast as Tiny Tim, and Edward M. Barker is thrilled to be playing the role of Bob Cratchit.
A Christmas Carol, originally published in 1843, introduces the iconic holiday figures of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Tiny Tim, and the three spirits of Christmas. Dickens’ story, widely popular in its day and still a beloved holiday tradition, also explores the darker side of prosperity in Victorian England, while exposing the bleak realities of the working poor.
Edward M. Barker (Bob Cratchit, Lighthouse Man 2, Ensemble) recently appeared as Tranio/Widow in The Taming of the Shrew with Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Locally, New Rep: Dessa Rose (Nathan) and Othello (Othello); SpeakEasy: Parade (IRNE and Elliot Norton Award Nominations) and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Bazzard); Stoneham: A Year with Frog and Toad (Toad); and Shubert: Abyssinia (Brother Samuels). Regional: Roundabout Theatre, North Shore Music Theatre, Goodspeed Opera, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Sacramento Music Circus, Portland Center Stage, Riverside Theatre (FL), Pioneer Theatre, and nine seasons with Weathervane Repertory Theatre. In nine different productions of A Christmas
Carol, Edward has played Scrooge, Marley, Fred, Topper, Dick Wilkins, Charity Man, Peter, Old Joe, Christmas Future, and now Bob!
Paul D. Farwell (Scrooge) is happy to be returning for his fifth year playing the Christmas curmudgeon. Credits include Mr. Roberts (The Captain), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Gaston), Cabaret (Herr Schulz), A Streetcar Named Desire (Steve), Ragtime (Willie Conklin), Into the Woods (Narrator), Permanent Collection (Morris), Threepenny Opera (Peachum), and Sweeney Todd (Judge Turpin) for New Rep; Kiss Me Kate (Ralph) and Romeo & Juliet (Capulet) for North Shore Music Theater; Taming of the Shrew (Baptista) and Much Ado About Nothing (Leonato) for Commonwealth Shakespeare; The Gig (Georgie), The Caretaker (Mick), and The Big Knife (Buddy) for Lyric Stage; To Kill a Mockingbird (Heck Tate) for Wheelock; Parade (Old Soldier) for SpeakEasy; and King of the Jews (Rabbi Verble) for Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. He directed the recent, acclaimed Metro Stage production of Sweeney Todd and is currently directing Fiddler On The Roof. Paul lives in Watertown with his wife Joanne and 6-year-old twins PJ and David.
Peter Edmund Haydu (Jacob Marley, John (Belle’s husband), Miner Father, Businessman 1, Old Joe, Ensemble) is pleased to return to New Rep, where he has been seen as Father in Ragtime and in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol for the past four years. Favorite roles at theatres including the Charles Playhouse, American Stage Festival, Foothills, and Stoneham have included John Adams in 1776, David Lee in The Foreigner, Billy Bishop (and 17 other characters) in Billy Bishop Goes to War, Dick Deadeye in HMS Pinafore, Jigger in Carousel, Loevborg in Hedda Gabler, and Romeo in Romeo and Juliet. He appeared in the Boston Company of Forbidden Broadway and as Orin in the Boston, Detroit, and Philadelphia companies of Little Shop of Horrors. His voice has been heard on many Public Radio shows, on CBS News, and regularly on PBS, notably on Vietnam, a Television History; Nova; Enterprise; and Frontline (for which he does the Series Announcements). He also provides, for WGBH’s Descriptive Video Service, narrated descriptions of films and PBS programming for visually-impaired viewers. He is a proud member of AEA, AFTRA, and SAG. SAG.
Ella Miller (Tiny Tim, Ensemble) is seven years old. She enjoys singing, dancing, and acting as well as reading, writing stories, and riding her bike. She is an avid artist and has had artwork exhibited in several local shows. Ella also loves spending time with her friends and absolutely adores her three year old sister Sophie. When she grows up, Ella wants to write and illustrate her own children’s stories as well as be a teacher. Ella has performed in Godspell, Mary Poppins, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Macbeth, and The Taming of the Shrew.
Steven Barkhimer (director) is honored to (re)join this family of friends, having appeared thrice in Mr. Lombardo’s adaptation of Dickens’ classic, as well as being its first music director ten years ago when it was a staged radio play. This year he directed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) for Orfeo Group, received a Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting from Boston University, and was presented the John Cauble Award for Best Short Play from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He has acted at New Rep in The Misanthrope, The Pillowman, Romeo and Juliet, Quills, The Threepenny Opera, Orson’s Shadow, Scapin, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, and Twelfth Night. A collection of his original music, entitled “Time Was,” is available at www.cdbaby.com.
Rick Lombardo (original director, adapter) is in his second season as Artistic Director at San Jose Rep, where he most recently directed As You Like It. He was previously New Rep’s Producing Artistic Director for thirteen years. Last spring, he was awarded the Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence from the Boston Theatre Critics Association for his work at New Rep. His productions have also been the recipient of four Elliot Norton Awards and are nine-time winner of the “IRNE” Award for his productions of The Clean House, Sweeney Todd, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, A Streetcar Named Desire, Ragtime, Waiting for Godot, and The Weir. His world premiere production of According to Tip transferred to Boston’s theatre district last fall. His New Rep production of Bill W. and Dr. Bob enjoyed an extended run Off Broadway in 2006. In the New England area, Mr. Lombardo also directed at Opera Boston, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre and Actors’ Shakespeare Project, among others. He was previously the Artistic Director of the Players Guild in Ohio, as well as the Founding Artistic Director of the Stillwaters Theatre Company in New York City. He was the Co-Director of the theatre program at Fordham University’s College at Lincoln Center, and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. He lives in San Jose with his wife, actress Rachel Harker, and daughter Claudia.
Additional members of the cast include Claire Dickson, Lee Goff, Brooke Hardman, Ethan Hermanson, Will Keary, William Gardiner, Patrick Ryan, Katrina Shinay, Andrew Stewart, Zoe Papastoitsis, Joel Perez, Tim Traversy, Dawn Tucker, and Becky Webber.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol features original music by Anna Lackaff and Rick Lombardo, with the original costume design by Frances Nelson McSherry and Christine Alger.
Additional artists include Peter Colao (scenic designer) John R. Malinoski (lighting designer), Christine Alger (costume designer), Jarrod Bray (properties designer), Anna Lackaff (musical direction), Ilyse Robbins (choreography).