WILLIAM J. NORRIS’ ADAPTATION OF CHARLES DICKENS’ “A CHRISTMAS CAROL” COMES TO THE MAC NOV. 28-NOV. 30

49 Actors from Two Dozen Chicago Area Communities Featured in Family-Friendly
70-Minute Production Presented by College of DuPage Theater Department, 

Directed by Connie Canaday Howard

GLEN ELLYN, Ill. – The College of DuPage Theater Department presents Charles Dickens
“A Christmas Carol,” adapted by William J. Norris and directed by COD Director of Theater Connie Canaday Howard, at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) Nov. 28-30. This marks the 14th time the Department has presented this beloved tale of Ebenezer Scrooge and the true meaning of the
Holiday season.”

“We are thrilled to bring Norris’ adaptation of Dickens’ classic holiday tale to the newly renovated Belushi Performance Hall,” says Canaday Howard. “We had performed other adaptations, but Bill’s was an instant success when we first performed it in 2004 and we’ve been performing his version ever since. Bill’s adaptation reflects his marvelous insight into all the wonderful characters enriched by his very personal experience of appearing in approximately 1,200 Goodman Theatre “A Christmas Carol” performances, nearly half in the role of Scrooge. And I know in the hands of our incredible cast and design team, this year’s production is guaranteed to be a highlight of the Holiday season.”

“A Christmas Carol,” a novella by Charles Dickens, was written in a span of six weeks and was first published Dec. 19, 1843. It tells the story of bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation inspired by supernatural visits from his deceased partner Jacob Marley and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come. The novella met with instant success with London literary magazine Athenaeum, hailing it as, “A tale to make the reader laugh and cry – to open his hands, and open his heart to charity even toward the uncharitable.” Stage adaptations began to hit theaters the following year and today hundreds of productions take place throughout the world every year.

William J. Norris (adapter) has been a performing arts professional for more than four decades.
Local acting credits include the Goodman Theatre, Victory Gardens Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and Writers Theatre; and international credits include The Schauspielhaus in Hamburg, the Mickery Theatre in Amsterdam and

Vienna’s English Theatre in Austria. He has been honored for his work as actor, director and writer with awards that include an Emmy, a Jeff and five Artisans.

The 49-person cast for the MAC production of “A Christmas Carol” is drawn from two dozen Chicago area communities and includes Villa Park’s Luke Thornton as Ebenezer Scrooge, Elmhurst’s Richard Petry as Bob Cratchit, Wheaton’s Micah Callaway as Tiny Tim Cratchit, Brookfield’s Fred Willis as Jacob Marley and The Ghost of Christmas Yet to come, Bloomingdale’s Cassie Collins as The Ghost of Christmas Past and Aurora’s Kara Barios as The Ghost of Christmas Present.

The design team includes Downers Grove’s Connie Canaday Howard (director), Aurora’s Michael Moon (set/properties design), Chicago’s Alison Amidei (costume/hair/makeup design), Glen Ellyn’s Jon Gantt (lighting design) and Chicago’s Christopher Kriz (sound design). Hanover Park’s Ed Garzaro is stage manager and Wheaton’s Will Austin is assistant stage manager.

In spirit of the holiday and the play, the cast and crew of “A Christmas Carol” and the MAC staff encourage all “A Christmas Carol” audience members to bring one or two non-perishable food items to support the MAC’s food drive for the People’s Resource Center. The People’s Resource Center food pantry serves more than 3,000 families from across DuPage County each month. For more information about the People’s Resource Center visit peoplesrc.org.

The College of DuPage Theatre Department presents “A Christmas Carol,” by Charles Dickens, adapted by William J. Norris and directed by Connie Canaday Howard at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) located on the campus of College of DuPage (425 Fawell Blvd.) Nov. 28-30. Performances are Friday, Nov. 28 at 7 p.m., and Saturday Nov. 29 and Sunday, Nov. 30 at 3 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults/ $12 for youth and seniors. For tickets or more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.

About the MAC

McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near
I-88 and I-355, and houses three performance spaces: (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall, the 186-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre, and the versatile black box Studio Theatre). It also encompasses the Cleve Carney Art Gallery, classrooms for the college’s academic programming and the Lakeside Pavilion. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 1.5 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 75,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.

The MAC began major renovations in fall 2012 to update its three performance spaces, construct a new art gallery and outdoor pavilion, and make improvements to the infrastructure, teaching and learning spaces and patron service areas. The MAC renovation was funded as part of the $168 million referendum that voters of District 502 passed in November 2010. The MAC completed its 14-month, $35 million renovation in December 2013 and officially opened its doors to the public with the MAC Madness Celebration on March 8, 2014 and secured Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification from the U.S. Green Building Council in October 2014. The MAC’s 2014-2015 Season is its first full season following the landmark renovations.

The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit AtTheMAC.org, facebook.com/AtTheMAC or twitter.com/AtTheMAC.

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McAninch Arts Center (MAC) is supported in part by the College of DuPage Foundation. Established as a 501(c) 3 not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit cod.edu/foundation or call 630.942.2462.

Programs at the MAC are partially supported through funding from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

Media Contact:
Ann Fink
Carol Fox and Associates
773.327.3830 x112
annf@carolfoxassociates.com