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The Prospector

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‘A Christmas Carol’ to spread Christmas cheer at UTEP

December is a month full of joy and happiness. Christmas is one of the few holidays that bring these qualities to the community. As a way to celebrate this holiday season, the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance will be showcasing their annual Christmas play.

“A Christmas Carol,” the famous, traditional play, is inspired by the Charles Dickens’ book that goes by the same name.

“‘A Christmas Carol’ is a timeless Dickens classic. It’s probably one of the most well known plays in the Western theatrical canon,” said Jay Stratton, director of the play.

The book tells the story of a grumpy, bitter old man and the steps he takes to transition into a gentler, kinder and humble person. This transformation occurs due to the visitation of the ghost of a business partner he had years before. The story continues with the appearance of three other ghosts: the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

Each year, the UTEP Department of Theatre and Dance invites the public to experience “A Christmas Carol,” with different adaptations of this story plot.

“Each director is chosen every year to head the project, so every show is different,” said Jesus Lopez, assistant stage manager of this year’s play. “Every single director has dif-ferent perspectives on how the show must be performed and designed.”

According to Lopez, even though this is a play that is presented each year, it takes a lot of time in order to have everything ready for the opening date.

“It takes about two months for the whole process,” Lopez said. “We begin with production meetings, in which the director and stage managing team meet with the production team to come up with a design. We also begin rehearsals early in order to have every-thing ready on time for tech week.”

With more than 10 years of being a production that is part of UTEP’s Department of Theatre and Dance’s repertoire, the play, year by year, intends to bring joy and fun to the audience.

“I think it’s good that they do these kind of events at UTEP because it gets families to get together and enjoy a good show,” said Sergio Hernandez, junior multimedia journal-ism major at UTEP.

Apart from being a source of entertainment and a good way to start enjoying the holidays, this theatrical play showcases the talent that many UTEP theater students have.

“I really like the concept of UTEP making a play related to the holiday season. I think it is a good opportunity for theater and dance students to expose everything that they learned during the semester,” said Angel Iruegas, senior art major at UTEP. “Besides, it is an opportunity for families, especially young family members, that start to have vaca-tions to have the chance to experience a professional-level theater play at a very low cost.”

Everything from rehearsals, lighting and stage design become part of the process to create and give the public the Christmas spirit and festive atmosphere when they go see the play.

“The play rehearses for about five weeks, but there is so much more to it than that,” Stratton said. “Casting, costumes, set, sound and lights all work alongside the rehearsal process. Beyond this, there are administrative and marketing efforts working well in advance of the project.”

This play promises to be funny, heart warming and very entertaining for all audiences and, of course, it is full of the seasonal atmosphere that Dickens portrays in his iconic book.

“I have been working in this play since the beginning of November and the work is arduous and time consuming, but we are doing great,” Lopez said. “The show is incredibly funny and human, people of all ages will be able to familiarize with the story and its many characters.”

The play will be held on Dec. 13 and 20 at 2:30 p.m. and on Dec. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wise Family Theatre in the Fox Fine Arts Center at UTEP. Prices for tickets will vary from $9 to $14 and can be purchased at the theater’s box office.

For more information about “A Christmas Carol,” visit UTEP’s Department of Theatre and Dance website at or call the department’s box office at (915) 747-5118.

Fernanda Leon may be reached at [email protected].

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‘A Christmas Carol’ to spread Christmas cheer at UTEP