“The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge”

“The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” will get its Minnesota premiere at the Commonweal Theatre Company in Lanesboro, with the run opening Friday, Nov. 24.

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LANESBORO, Minn. — The Commonweal Theatre Company will present the Minnesota premiere of “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge,” opening Friday, Nov. 24 and playing through Dec. 22. Discounted preview performances run from Nov. 16-24.

From the mind of Mark Brown, author of “Around the World in 80 Days” produced at the Commonweal in 2014, “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” finds Scrooge suing Jacob Marley and the three Christmas spirits for a variety of cruelties. One by one, your favorite characters from “A Christmas Carol” take the stand to provide their account of the miraculous night in question.

“I wrote this script,” Brown said, “as a reaction to the immediate aftermath of 9/11. There was kindness and generosity everywhere you looked, but eventually it disappeared and we were back to the same old ways. I imagined that’s how Scrooge must have felt around April. He made a vow to keep Christmas in his heart all year long but everyone else let the spirit of kindness and generosity go by the wayside, only to reappear the following December.”

The play, Brown added, “is part adaptation and part sequel to “A Christmas Carol” and is my way of saying we need that kindness year round.”

Commonweal Executive Director Hal Cropp directs a cast that features Commonweal resident ensemble members Ben Gorman, reprising his 2016 role of Ebenezer Scrooge and Jeremy van Meter in the role of Solomon Rothschild, defense attorney for Marley and the ghosts. The remaining members of the cast include resident ensemble members Abbie Cathcart, Elizabeth Dunn, David Hennessey, Eric Lee, Philip Muehe and apprentice actress Megan Hanks.

Discounted preview performances start at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16-18 and 1:30 p.m. Nov. 19 and 24, with each preview performance followed by a post-performance discussion with the director.

All residents and employees of Fillmore and Houston counties receive free admission to the show on Nov. 30, but seats fill up fast so reservations are strongly recommended.

The Commonweal will collect new art supplies and art kits to be delivered in time for the holidays to patients at Mayo Clinic’s Eugenio Litta Children’s Hospital. Each patron who donates an item will receive $5 off their regular adult ticket price.

Ticket prices are $35 with discounts available for students and groups of 10 or more. For ticket reservations or information about any Commonweal events or programs, call 800-657-7025 or purchase online at www.CommonwealTheatre.org.

All performances are at the Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N., in downtown Lanesboro.


Randy Erickson covers arts and entertainment and county government for the La Crosse Tribune. Contact him at 608-791-8219 or randy.erickson@lee.net.

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