Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UPDATED November 14, 2013

Publicity photo is currently available online.

MARIN THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS
JACOB MARLEY’S CHRISTMAS CAROL

PERFECT FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY,
THIS THOROUGHLY CHARMING HOLIDAY TREAT
MAKES A VERY OLD STORY NEW AGAIN

EXTENDED! Now runs through December 22!
November 21 – December 22, 2013
Opening Night: November 26

MILL VALLEY, CA—Marin Theatre Company continues its 2013-14 Season with a holiday production of Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol by Tom Mula, who was inspired to rehab A Christmas Carol, the annual theatrical standby, after performing the role of Scrooge on Chicago stages for nearly a decade. Due to brisk ticket sales, MTC has extended this “thoroughly charming holiday treat” (Daily Herald) by eight performances. Directed by Jon Tracy, who helmed last year’s hit It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and featuring actors Khris Lewin (A Steady Rain), Rami Margron (debut), Nicholas Pelczar (The Whipping Man) and Stacy Ross (God of Carnage), the production will run during the holiday season for 36 performances, from November 21 through December 22. Opening night is Tuesday, November 26. Based in Mill Valley, MTC is a 47-year old professional nonprofit theater that is a destination for exhilarating performances, inspired new American plays and powerful theatrical experiences.

“Tom Mula’s splendid, charming and, at times, spooky look into the afterlife of Scrooge’s deceased partner Jacob Marley is the perfect holiday treat for theatergoers of all ages,” MTC's artistic director Jasson Minadakis said. “For anyone who ever wondered ‘Why did Marley come back for Scrooge in the first place?’ or ‘But what happens to Jacob Marley at the end of A Christmas Carol?,’ this is the perfect companion piece or alternative to Dickens’s holiday classic. I adore this play and am delighted to finally be sharing it with MTC’s audiences. I find it has more emotional ups and downs than most stagings of A Christmas Carol, which is always good for a tale of redemption. And I could not be more pleased to have one of my favorite local directors, the ingenious Jon Tracy, at the helm.”

Adapted for four actors from Charles Dickens’s 1843 novella A Christmas Carol, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol “befits the season and makes a very old story new again” (The Seattle Times). Perfect for the whole family, this play opens as does the Victorian classic, with Marley dead as a doornail – “there is no doubt whatever about that” – but the focus never leaves his chained and burdened soul. This festive ghost story remains in the ethereal planes of the afterlife as Marley scrambles to redeem himself by reforming his former partner-in-greed, that “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner” Ebeneezer Scrooge… in just 24 hours. This is going to be one long night of “delectably zany, inspired theater” (CityBeat).

Mula, an actor as well as a playwright and director, performed the role of Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago for seven seasons. Inspiration came to him to write his own adaptation when his friend’s ten-year-old daughter commented that “Jacob Marley got a raw deal.” He first wrote Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol as a novel, which was published by Adams Media in 1995 and became a Chicago Sun-Times bestseller. For six seasons, an audio version was broadcast nationwide on NPR.

The play version of Marley, originally written for one actor, premiered at the Goodman Theatre’s Studio in 1998 starring Mula. The production won an After Dark Award and was so popular that it was revived the following year. Shortly thereafter, Mula developed a four-actor version, which premiered at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company in 2001 with then artistic director Jasson Minadakis, directing. Published in 2004, the four-actor version has since been produced across the country, including in the Bay Area at Actors Theatre of San Francisco (2004), City Lights Theater Company (2007) and Sonoma County’s Pegasus Theatre Company (2012).

Dickens’s novella A Christmas Carol was such an immediate critical and commercial success after it was published in December 1843 that, within three months, it inspired eight rival theatrical adaptations in London alone. Stage versions of A Christmas Carol remain stock each holiday season and at least six productions were staged in the Bay Area in 2012 at A.C.T., Center REP, Notre Dame de Namur University, Novato Theater Company and San Jose Rep, as well as an Occupy Movement-inspired version by San Francisco Mime Troupe.

Directing Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, Jon Tracy returns to MTC where he previously directed last year’s It’s a Wonderful: A Live Radio Play, which was unanimously declared “wonderful” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Marin IJ, TheaterDogs and Mill Valley Herald and other Marinscope Community Newspapers.

Marley features the return of three veteran MTC actors – Khris Lewin (Othello, the Moor of Venice and A Steady Rain), Nicholas Pelczar (The Whipping Man and Othello, the Moor of Venice) and Stacy Ross (God of Carnage, Frozen and Killer Joe), as well as the debut of Rami Margron, a local actor who has recently been seen on stage at Cal Shakes, Berkeley Rep and Shotgun Players.

Recommended for ages 6 and up. Student Matinee performances for middle and high schools will be offered on December 3 and December 12. Call MTC’s Education Department for more information, (415) 388-5200 ext. 3310.

MTC has partnered with the Great Dickens Christmas Fair to bring pre-show entertainment to four of the performances on Tuesday, November 26, beginning at 7:00 p.m. (Charles Dickens and his characters from A Christmas Carol); Wednesday, November 27, at 6:30 p.m. (The Coventry Carolers); Wednesday, December 4, at 6:30 p.m. (Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig and their family of dancers); and Thursday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. (The Brass Farthing Gentlemen's Singing Group).

FACTS & CALENDAR INFORMATION

WHAT
Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol

WHO
Marin Theatre Company
By Tom Mula
Directed by Jon Tracy (It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play)
Featuring Khris Lewin (A Steady Rain), Rami Margron (debut), Nicholas Pelczar (The Whipping Man) and Stacy Ross (God of Carnage)

WHEN
November 21 – December 15, 2013
Opening Night: Tuesday, November 26
Previews: Thursday, November 21 - Sunday, November 24
***No performance on Thanksgiving, Thursday, November 28.

Performance Days
Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat 8:00 pm
Wed 7:30 pm
Sun 7:00 pm
Matinees: Every Sun 2:00 pm | Sat 11/30 & 12/28, 2:00 pm | Thu 12/5, 1:00 pm

Check marintheatre.org or call the box office at (415) 388-5208 for exact performance dates and times.

WHERE
Marin Theatre Company | 397 Miller Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

ABOUT
“Befits the season and makes a very old story new again” – The Seattle Times

Perfect for the whole family, this festive ghost story opens as does Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, with Old Marley dead (“as a door-nail”). However, the focus never leaves his chained and burdened soul, remaining in the ethereal planes of the afterlife.

Given just 24 hours to redeem himself, Jacob Marley scrambles to reform his former partner in greed – that “squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous old sinner” Ebenezer Scrooge. This is going to be one long night… of spirited fun!

“A thoroughly charming holiday treat” – Daily Herald

TICKETS
$37–$58, details below (discounts available for Seniors and those Under 30)
Subscriptions on sale now for $80-184, see marintheatre.org for more information.

Ticket Prices:
Previews: $37 all
Opening Night & Sat Evenings: $53 side | $58 center
Tues: $37| $42
Wed, Thu, Sun Evenings & Matinees: $42 | $47
Fri: $48 | $53

Discounts available:
RUSH tickets: $20, available one hour prior to show, based on availability
Under 30: $20, all performances
Senior discounts: $4 off, all performances
Military personnel, their families & US veterans: $5 off, all performances, must show ID

For group sales, contact Julie Knight, (415) 388-5200, ext. 3302

ENGAGE
“MTC Engaged” invites patrons to join MTC’s artistic staff, designers and casts in conversation.

After Words – A member of MTC’s artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) hosts a Q&A talk back after every performance, except Saturdays and Opening and Closing Nights.

MTC Engaged Special Events:
• Victorian Holiday Party – members of the Great Dickens Christmas Fair will lead pre-show events including caroling, dancing and games, TBA dates (four performances).

• Theater Lecture Series – FREE public lectures by MTC artistic staff, all start at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted
      - Wed, 11/6 – Mill Valley Public Library, 375 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley
      - Thurs, 11/7 – Larkspur Library, 400 Magnolia Ave, Larkspur
      - Thurs, 11/21 – Belvedere-Tiburon Library, 1501 Tiburon Blvd., Tiburon
      - Wed, 12/4, 1:00 p.m. – sponsored by San Rafael Library at the San Rafael City Council Chamber, 1400 Fifth Ave., San Rafael

• Great Dickens Christmas Fair – Come early for special pre-show entertainment provided by performers from the Dickens Fair during the hour before curtain.
      - Tues, 11/26, 7:00 p.m. – Charles Dickens and his characters from A Christmas Carol
      - Wed, 11/27, 6:30 p.m. – The Coventry Carolers
      - Wed, 12/4, 6:30 p.m. – Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwig and their family of dancers
      - Thurs, 12/5, 7:00 p.m. – The Brass Farthing Gentlemen's Singing Group

• Perspectives: pre-show topical lecture: Thurs 12/5, 12:00 p.m.

ACCESS
“MTC All Access” strives to make theater accessible to all audiences. For visually impaired patrons, Large Print playbills are available at the box office at all performances and Braille playbills are available with two-weeks advance notice through partnership with LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired. To request a Braille playbill, call MTC’s Box Office, (415) 388-5208, or use the California

Telecommunications Relay Service by dialing “711.” For hearing impaired patrons, amplified sound Listening Devices are available.

CONTACT
marintheatre.org | (415) 388-5208 | boxoffice@marintheatre.org

ARTIST BIOGRAPHIES

Tom Mula (playwright) makes his debut at MTC with Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. He has been an award-winning playwright, actor and director for more than 25 years. He received two Joseph Jefferson Awards for his play Golem at the National Jewish Theatre and for his work on Nicole Hollander’s musical Sylvia’s Real Good Advice. His novel Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol was published by Adams Media and became a best seller. The audio version was broadcast nationwide on NPR for six seasons and received an INDI Award for Spoken Word. The play version received the prestigious Cunningham Prize from the Goodman School of Drama. It premiered at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, received an After Dark Award and was repeated the following year. Since then, it has been performed in theaters across the country. Several of his other theatrical adaptations have received critical acclaim, among them Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde; Falstaff, John Gardner’s In the Suicide Mountains and a rock-musical version of Dr. Faustus. Mula’s acting credits include Hot Mikado at Drury Lane (After Dark and Joseph Jefferson Awards winner), his one-man performance of his book Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, Emma’s Child, King Lear, Richard III, The Tempest, The Circus of Dr. Lao, seven seasons and over 400 performances as Scrooge in A Christmas Carol at the Goodman Theatre and nine seasons at Peninsula Players. His directing credits include Porch and A Life (both Joseph Jefferson Award nominees), and the world premiere of Wenceslas Square in Chicago and at the Queens’ Festival in Belfast. Mula is an artist in residence at Columbia College.

Jon Tracy (Director) has directed MTC’s mainstage production of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and New Play Reading Series production of Blood/Money. He works as a director, playwright, designer and educator throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Locally, he has directed The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Aurora Theatre Company; Terminus and Any Given Day at Magic Theatre; Strangers, Babies, The Farm and The Salt Plays Pt. 1: In the Wound and Pt. 2: Of the Earth at Shotgun Players, where he is also a company member; Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Man of La Mancha, Bug, Slasher and First Person Shooter at SF Playhouse; The Rainmaker and The Diviners for the A.C.T. Conservatory where he is Adjunct Faculty; the West Coast premiere of Evil Dead: The Musical at Willows Theatre; See How We Are, which he also wrote, at Impact Theatre; Grapes of Wrath at TheatreFIRST; Nixon’s Nixon, Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter and his own adaptation of A Christmas Carol at Sonoma County Repertory; and Chatterbox: The Anne Frank Project, which he also wrote, at Missouri St. Theatre. He is the founder and former artistic director of Darkroom Productions, where he directed and designed Macbeth, subUrbia, King Lear, Marisol, Some Devil Whisper and The Good News, which he also wrote. He is the former artistic director of Traveling Lantern Theatre Company and a company member of PlayGround. A graduate of Solano College Theatre’s Actor Training Program, he is also the recipient of the Kennedy Center Meritorious Achievement Award, fifteen North Bay Arty Awards, a Sacramento Elly Award, Bay Area Critics Circle Award and is a grant recipient from Theatre Bay Area and the National Endowment for the Arts. Jon is a proud member of SDC, the union for directors and choreographers. jontracy.com

Khris Lewin (Marley) has appeared at MTC in Othello, the Moor of Venice and A Steady Rain. Recently, he has appeared in New York in Gorilla with Scandinavian-American Theatre Company and Oliver! at Harbor Lights Theatre Company. His other New York include the Drama Desk-nominated Fêtes de la Nuit at the Ohio Theatre, Time Is the Mercy of Eternity at the West End Theatre, Talking to Terrorists at Culture Project, Private Life of the Master Race at Walkerspace, a trapeze version of Richard II at the Tank and appearances at Symphony Space on NPR’s Selected Shorts and Bloomsday on Broadway. Other work includes the revival of My One and Only at the Goodspeed Opera House, The Music Man at the Ogunquit Playhouse and the title role in Macbeth at Nebraska Shakespeare. Lewin has a BA from Duke University and an MFA from the National Theatre Conservatory. khrislewin.com

Rami Margron (Bogle) makes her MTC debut in Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. She was last seen in Lady Windermere’s Fan at Cal Shakes. Her other recent credits include Pericles at Berkeley Rep, Precious Little at Shotgun Players, Dogsbody at Intersection for the Arts and La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club in New York City and He Moved Swiftly But Gently Down the Not Too Crowded Street with Dancers’ Group. She has also performed locally with San Francisco Shakespeare Company, Magic Theatre, Crowded Fire Theater, Mugwumpin, Willows Theater, Woman’s Will, Word for Word, Pacific Rep, Town Hall Theater, Pear Ave Theater, City Circus and a number of dance companies. Margron studied acting at the Bennett Theatre Lab in San Francisco, clown and buffoon in Paris and over twenty styles of dance and movement in the US, Haiti, Cuba, Brazil and Indonesia. She is a company member of Crowded Fire and Rara Tou Limen Haitian dance company.

Nicholas Pelczar (Scrooge) has appeared at MTC in The Whipping Man, Othello, the Moor of Venice, The Glass Menagerie and boom. His Bay Area credits include Arcadia, War Music, Rock ‘n’ Roll and A Christmas Carol at A.C.T.; Hamlet, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, Othello, Titus Andronicus, Taming of the Shrew, All’s Well That Ends Well and The Importance of Being Earnest at Cal Shakes; The Pitmen Painters at TheatreWorks; 4 Adverbs with Word for Word; Hamlet and As You Like It at Pacific Repertory Theatre; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at San Francisco Shakespeare Festival; and Marius and Dublin Carol at Aurora Theatre Company. Nationally, he has appeared in The Whipping Man at Virginia Stage Company. Pelczar is a graduate of the A.C.T. MFA acting program.

Stacy Ross (Record Keeper) has appeared at MTC in God of Carnage, What the Butler Saw, Frozen, Killer Joe, the world premiere of Splittin’ the Raft, Candida, Spring Storm, Emma’s Child and Kindertransport, as well as the New Play Reading Series production of Silent Sky. She was most recently seen in Lady Windermere’s Fan at Cal Shakes, where she is an Associate Artist, and Terminus at Magic Theatre. She has appeared at Berkeley Rep, A.C.T., San Jose Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, TheatreWorks and Centerstage in Baltimore, among others. She is a member of both PlayGround and Symmetry Theatre Company.

ABOUT MTC
Founded in 1966, Marin Theatre Company is the Bay Area’s premier mid-sized theater and the leading professional theater in the North Bay. We produce a six-show season of provocative plays by passionate playwrights from the 20th century and today in our 231-seat main stage theater, as well as a five-show Theater Series for Young Audiences in partnership with the Bay Area Children's Theatre in our 99-seat studio theater. We are committed to the development and production of new plays by American playwrights, with a comprehensive New Play Program that includes productions of world premieres, two nationally recognized annual playwriting awards, readings and workshops by the nation’s best emerging playwrights and membership in the National New Play Network. Our numerous education programs serve more than 6,000 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. MTC is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization.

PRESS CONTACT

Sasha Hnatkovich, Communications Director

(415) 388-5200, ext. 3313 | sasha@marintheatre.org

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