Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Christmas Carol Opens November 28

Tim Budd. Photo by James Caldwell.
Iowa City -This holiday season actor Tim Budd will perform Paul Morella's solo adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, November 28 to December 14 at Riverside Theatre. Ron Clark will direct. Audiences will get to experience the unforgettable characters and vivid imagery of this ghost story through Dickens’ own words in the style that was originally intended. The experience will be made complete with live music by fiddler Tara McGovern (of The Beggarmen).

A Christmas Carol runs Thursday–Sunday, November 28 – December 14, 2014. Tickets: Adults, $28-30; Riverdog Pass Holders, $25; Youth, $18; Student Rush, $20. Details at riversidetheatre.org, or by phone at 319-338-7672. Riverside Theatre is located at 213 N. Gilbert Street, Iowa City, Iowa.

A Christmas Carol is the fourth show of Riverside’s 34th season of professional theatre.


Tim Budd, who performed the solo show The Santaland Diaries at Riverside Theatre in 2012, takes on the role of Dickens and the voices of his characters from Scrooge to Tiny Tim.

Live music by fiddler Tara McGovern adds an extra richness to the experience. Tara McGovern has been performing across the Midwest with the traditional Irish band The Beggarmen since 2004 and holds a degree in music therapy.

Lighting design for A Christmas Carol is by Jessica Fialko, with period costume design by Osean Perez. Violet Virnig is the scenic coordinator.


Originally Dickens published A Christmas Carol as a novella in 1843, during Victorian era Britain in a time that Christmas tradition nostalgia was strong and new customs, such as Christmas trees and holiday greeting cards, were being introduced.

The story centers around a bitter miser, Ebenezer Scrooge and his change into a warm, generous man after being visited by the ghost of his old business partner Jacob Marley, and three spirits: the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present, and Yet to Come.

The story is so popular that it has never been out of print, and has been adapted to film, stage, opera and other media. The book was adapted to the stage almost immediately, with 3 productions opening in 1844. Dickens decided that the best way to reach audiences with the story was through public readings and he prepared an abbreviated version of the tale for that purpose. His very first public reading of any story was of A Christmas Carol in 1853. The public readings were incredibly successful and he performed the story 127 times, until the year of his death in 1870. A Christmas Carol was also his final performance.

Contemporary actor Paul Morella, in a desire to take A Christmas Carol back to its public performance roots, adapted the story to a one-person show using Dickens’ own language. Morella himself performs the show at Olney Theatre Center in Maryland.


Tim Budd most recently performed the role of Buddy in Kimberly Akimbo. Last season he played Iago in RTP’s Othello and acted in Riverside’s Gilbert Street productions of Walking the Wire: Merge, Good People, and Birth Witches, as well as directing Coming of Age in Chore Boots. Other recent work includes acting in Hancher's production of Working Group Theatre's new play Out of Bounds. An Iowa native, Tim finished his studies towards an MFA in acting at the University of Iowa and works full-time at Prairie Lights Books.


Fri 11/28, 7:30pm
Sat 11/29, 7:30pm
Sun 11/30, 2:00pm

Thurs 12/4, 7:30pm
Fri 12/5, 7:30pm
Sat 12/6, 7:30pm
Sun 12/7, 2:00pm

Thurs 12/11, 7:30pm
Fri 12/12, 7:30pm
Sat 12/13, 7:30pm
Sun 12/14, 2:00pm


Thursday Theatre Talk: November 20, 5:30pm at Riverside Theatre with host Miriam Gilbert and special guest Professor Garrett Stewart. The theatre talk is free & open to the public.

Post-performance Talkbacks: Sunday, November 30 & Friday, December 5. Stay after the show on these dates to discuss the play with the actors.

Source: Riverside Theatre Press Release

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