FOREST CITY | BrickStreet Theatre's production of "A Christmas Carol," which opens on Dec. 8, is a blend of the familiar and the new.
BST originally put on the play, based on Charles Dickens' classic story, in 1999. This year's production even has the same actor, Lindsay Eckermann of Forest City, playing Scrooge.
But the 2018 show also will be the first BST production held in the Boman Fine Arts Center, which opened in October.
Director Julie Keely said one reason BST wanted to bring back "A Christmas Carol" was to celebrate this special occasion "with a bang."
She said the stage at the Boman Center has lots of room for a production the size of "A Christmas Carol," which has a cast of nearly 60 performers.
Eckermann said he was happy to reprise his role as the miserly Scrooge, who hates Christmas but has a change of heart after being visited by the ghost of his former business partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future.
Eckermann has a special connection to the story because he taught seventh-grade English for 16 years.
His students did a six-week unit on "A Christmas Carol" every year. The final activity was always a trip to the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis to see a production of "A Christmas Carol."
The story is as relevant today as it was during the Victorian age, according to Eckermann.
"There's a bit of Scrooge in all of us," he said.
Hopefully audience members will come away from "A Christmas Carol" asking themselves questions such as, "Did I forget what it (Christmas Past) was like?" he said.
Lynnea Frederickson-Smith, who plays the wife of Scrooge's nephew, Fred, is also the manager of the Boman Center.
Being on the Boman stage "is huge and exciting," she said.
"We are having way too much fun with this show," she said.
The cast ranges in age from children to senior citizens.
One of the young performers is Asher Campbell, 8, from Swea City, who plays Tiny Tim.
He said the best part about being cast as Tiny Tim is he has one of the most famous lines in the play -- "God bless us, every one."
The curtain rises at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8; 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9; 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 14; 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 15 and 2 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 16.
Tickets may be purchased at the Forest City Chamber of Commerce, online at www.brickstreettheatre.org, or at the door, pending availability.
The public is invited to attend BrickStreet Theatre’s Opening Weekend Gala Reception at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 9. This open house event will feature Victorian Christmas treats and beverages with freewill donations supporting the ongoing operations of BrickStreet Theatre.