Forum Players Present Dickens' Classic, A Christmas Carol, November 18, 19 and 20 at the Stuart Steiner Theatre

NEWS RELEASEOffice of Development and External Affairs

Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications 585-343-0055 Ext. 6616

November 8, 2004

BATAVIA, New York - The Forum Players, the student-based acting group at Genesee Community College will present Charles Dickens' timeless classic, A Christmas Carol, on November 18, 19, and 20 at 7:00 p.m. in the Stuart Steiner Theatre. A matinee performance is also scheduled at 1:00 p.m. on November 20.

The play follows the familiar tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge who, over the course of a single Christmas Eve, relives five incidents from his past. He visits scenes from the present Christmas to the Twelfth Night, and then is given a premonition of a potential future Christmas that connects his own death to that of the child of his poor clerk, Bob Cratchit. Since its publication in 1843, A Christmas Carol has been featured on stage and in film, immortalizing not only Dickens but the Christmas ghosts of past, present, and future. Some historians say that these spirits are personifications of memory, example, and fear.

Written as one of five "Christmas Stories" between 1843 and 1848, Dickens based the role of the beloved "Tiny Tim" on his young, frail nephew. Frustrated with the "condition of England," he used the text of A Christmas Carol as a platform for the need for social reform and social rebirth. Ironically, the book lost money when his publisher, Parley's Illuminated Library pirated "the Carol" and then declared bankruptcy. Dickens eventually won an ensuing legal suit, but became disgusted with the legal system, which produced further subject matter for future manuscripts.

Maryanne Arena, the College's new Director of Fine and Performing Arts at Genesee, is directing this production. "I'm so excited to be a part of the 'GCC family'", she said, "and there isn't a better show than A Christmas Carol to kick off my directing debut on the GCC stage. It's a wonderful time of year to bring students, family members, and community together."

This play ushers in the unofficial holiday season at the Arts Center with performances of The Nutcracker beginning on Friday, December 3rd and continuing through December 5th; and the annual Encore event sponsored by the Genesee Community College Foundation with a presentation of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra on Thursday, December 9th, and culminating with the Genesee Symphony Orchestra's New Year's Eve Gala on Friday, December 31st.

"I can't think of a more enjoyable way of starting the seasonal celebrations than to see Scrooge and his ghostly friends take the stage. Yes, 'God bless us, everyone'!" Arena added.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are on sale now and can be reserved by calling the Genesee Center for the Arts Box Office at 585-345-6814 or on-line at Tickets are $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children and senior citizens.