‘Christmas Carol’ hits the Village Arts stage | News, Sports, Jobs


Sue Sitter / PCT Ebeneezer Scrooge, played by Michael Hurly, sits on a stage under construction at the Village Arts Center. He had no comments other than “Bah, humbug!”

Insensitive to a few challenges, Trista Busche of Village Arts said she was eager to bring “A Christmas Carol” to play. The play began on Friday December 10 and continues on Saturday and Sunday December 11 and 12.

Busche, who co-directs the play with Chelsea McBeth, faced practice in the basement of the Village Arts Center as the stage is undergoing renovations. She also conducted solo workouts from Thanksgiving through early December. McBeth, who contracted COVID while visiting her parents in Canada, remained in quarantine north of the border until she was given the green light to cross on December 5.

Still, Busche remained in an upbeat mood, excited about the chance to be where she always loved to be – on stage. In addition to directing with McBeth, Busche stars as Bob Cratchit’s wife.

Busche said she hadn’t played in “A Christmas Carol” previously, but McBeth had played the Ghost of Christmas Past in a previous performance. McBeth will play Ms. Fezziwig in the Village Arts show.

Busche described Ms Cratchit as “The ultimate supportive wife. One of my favorite lines is when her husband tries to raise his glass to give a Christmas toast to Ebeneezer Scrooge and she immediately rolls her eyes and says,” Excuse me, he’s mean to you everyday, and you’re going to bring him to my Christmas? That’s what I prefer to say in the whole series.

“In my memory, rugby has never played a Christmas play before”, Busche said of Village Arts. “It’s always been a summer production. Usually during the Christmas season, Village Arts has choir concerts and orchestral concerts, which are wonderful.

“But since we couldn’t do a summer show this year, we really wanted to do something”, Busche added. “So we decided on something for Christmas. The first thing that came to my mind was “A Christmas Carol,” a standard Christmas play. What excites me the most is that this is the first production to be made in the new Village Arts Center on the brand new stage. So it’s an honor to be the one running the piece that breaks it. “

“We had auditions in mid-September and at that point our stage still wasn’t finished for work, but everyone was a real champion. “ said Busche. “We practiced just about anywhere we could, like in the basement. And once we got on stage, it was really great to see everyone being able to translate everything immediately, from practice space to real space.

Busche said the stage should be finished in time for performances.

“I grew up in the arts of the village”, said Busche. “In my first Village Arts play, I was five years old. Busche, who grew up in rugby, graduated from Rugby High, moved to college and returned to rugby. “And immediately, the first thing I wanted to do was get involved again in Village Arts” Busche said of his return. “My memories of Village Arts completely shaped who I was as a person. So being able to be a part of the next generation bringing it into this new era and new day is so exciting for me.

“I see a lot of new faces and a lot of old faces and a lot of people looking at me and saying I look familiar to them” Busche added.

Busche said his favorite part about the village arts “Christmas song” performance “Do we have a lot of children in the game”.

High school students and young children have roles in performance.

“My favorite part is working with elementary school students and hopefully awakening a love of theater in them and keeping them coming back year after year. “ said Busche, smiling enthusiastically. “Because it’s only when people come back that we continue to have fun year after year. “

Busche said the performance will have a unique characteristic. “A 15-person choir will provide music to set the mood during stage transitions. They will do this in addition to providing background music before and after the show and during the intermission ”, she said, pointing to three rows of chairs to the right of the stage.

“It’s a novelty that has never been done” noted Busche. “There have been performances with an orchestra in a pit, but here we have them on stage like an almost Greek choir. “

Busche said a violinist will also provide violin music during scenes such as Fezziwig’s Christmas party.

Michael Hurly plays the role of Scrooge. Full in character, he reluctantly sat down for a photo. However, he made only one comment on the play.

“Bah, joke! “ He said.

Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” are available by calling 776-2787. Performances on December 10, 11 and 12 are at 7 p.m., with a morning performance on December 11 at 1 p.m.


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