ENTERTAINMENT

It wouldn’t be Christmas without a ‘Greencastle’ Scrooge

PAT FRIDGEN, Echo Pilot

After a decade's absence, Totem Pole Playhouse is presenting “A Christmas Carol” at The Capitol Theatre, 159 S. Main St. in Chambersburg. A Greencastle man stars as Ebenezer Scrooge. Paris Peet will be joined by experienced actors and crew for the performances Dec. 18-20, at 7:30 p.m., and matinees Dec. 20 and 21, at 2:30 p.m.

Peet, 58, is no stranger to the stage. He has appeared in a number of Totem Pole productions, most recently “The Foreigner”. He is a professor of theatre at Shippensburg University, teaching performance classes and directing plays. His MFA in Acting is from the University of South Carolina and he is also a member of Actors Equity Association.

It is good memories that most attracted Peet to join the cast of “A Christmas Carol”. He had seen Totem Pole's rendition twice, once with his son Owen in the audience, and then when Owen was up front as a Crachit child.

“When artistic director Rowan Joseph asked me early this year, I said, 'yes, yes, yes'.”

Auditions were in September, when the 30 cast members received their scripts. Rehearsals began in earnest in mid-November on evenings and weekends.

Peet prepared for the role by growing facial hair. He could have attached a fake beard, but “they are a pain and I know this one won't go anywhere.”

The Charles Dickens play is a Christmas favorite, and has been presented many ways in different venues.

“This one is very true to the Dickens story,” said Peet. “He is terrific as a writer and for theatrical adaptations. It was condensed for time and moves quickly.”

He added that the technical aspects of the show were challenging, but the talented crew was very good at operating the special effects.

Peet has an extensive acting background himself, but loves the atmosphere of this play in the winter in Pennsylvania.

“The Chambersburg Christmas tree is lovely, and I remember when the play was downtown, people were out walking along the streets.”

He paused before continuing on about his role as Scrooge.

“And it's Christmas. It's a great story and a wonderful character.”