The Bluebarn Theatre Tells a Different Tale in “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol”

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November 27th, 2013

Omaha, NE — A local theatre celebrating 25 years takes an unconventional approach to a local holiday tradition. Ben Rasmussen has more!

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This Friday begins the 4-week run of the Blue Barn Theatre’s holiday production, “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” by Tom Mula. The play’s director, Kevin Lawler, says the story presents an alternate view of the classic “Christmas Carol.”

The Cast of Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol. From Left: Nils Haaland, Kevin Barratt, Scott Working, and Bill Grennan.

The Cast of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol.
From Left: Nils Haaland, Kevin Barratt, Scott Working, and Bill Grennan.

“It’s the ‘Christmas Carol’ story told from the perspective of Jacob Marley, who has just died when the play begins.” Lawler said. “The plot unfolds from there about how he gets involved with coming back on Christmas Eve, December 24, to haunt Scrooge and try and make Scrooge have a change of heart.”

In the original tale Marley seems to come out of sincere concern for his colleague and friend, but in this play there is something in it for Marley.

“There’s high stakes for him in having to try to succeed changing the heart of this guy who is the most awful guy ever, Scrooge.”

The play features Nils Haaland as Jacob Marley, Kevin Barratt as Scrooge, Scott Working in multiple roles, and KVNO’s own Bill Grennan as the Bogle, Jacob Marley’s guide in the afterlife. Kevin Lawler says he and several members of the cast have strong ties to the Omaha Community Playhouse and their “Christmas Carol” traditions.

“Both Nils Haaland, whose starring, and and myself have played Scrooge for Christmas Carol at the Omaha Community Playhouse on their national tours.” said Lawler.

That connection to the Playhouse production does not, however, imply a similar approach to storytelling.

“It’s almost a bare stage, almost no set whatsoever, very few props, just a few candles, and the actors create all these worlds entirely on their own.”

Lawler says this bare-bones approach allows the audience more freedom to use their imagination and helps the actors focus on emotionally engaging the audience.

“It’s really, really funny comedy, and just this heart wrenching drama.”

The Blue Barn Theatre’s production of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” is November 29th through December 22nd. For tickets and more information, you can go to bluebarn.org.

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