The Norman Transcript

November 7, 2013

Norman residents bring A Christmas Carol to life

by Hannah Cruz
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Several Norman residents are taking the stage this holiday season to tell the redemptive story of Ebenezer Scrooge Lyric Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.”

Vince Leseney, Mandy Jiran, Tom Huston Orr, Mat Govich and Owen Joyner are among the cast members performing the Charles Dickens holiday classic in the Oklahoma City theater’s third annual performance.

Leseney, splitting the role of Bob Cratchit with Orr, said the production combines the joys of Christmas with thrills, chills and over-the-top theatrics, making it the perfect way to commemorate the season.

“I want the audience to feel like they’ve been immersed in the Dickens period with all the costumes — the set is great, the costumes are beautiful — it’s for people to completely forget for a couple hours, to forget how crazy the holidays can be and how much they have to be done and just enjoy the ride, enjoy the story,” Leseney said. “And to be changed to the very core of their souls.”

Mandy Jiran, performing as the Ghost of Christmas Present for the third year, said the production is about a man’s journey as he reflects on his life and considers what the future might look like. After supernatural visits in the night from the ghost of Scrooge’s business partner Jacob Marley, as well as the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future, Scrooge is transformed from a selfish, hateful man to a hopeful, charitable man.

“It’s a story about change, I think — that a person can change,” Jiran said. “And it’s beautiful, in its grotesque ways.”

With ghosts and allusions to death, Jiran said the nature of “A Christmas Carol” is both dark and jolly. This production is packed with effects that add to the tone with Christmas Past flying over the audience, actual falling snow and more.

“It’s just magical,” she said. “I think the effects of the show, even Christmas Present, my role, during the entrance we have a giant sleigh and the sleigh comes down through the audience. It’s as much spectacle as it can be, in a smaller theater.”

Jiran said the production is appropriate for all ages and a wonderful production for families to come back to see year after year.

“I want them to want to come back every year. I want them to want to make this a tradition for their families,” she said. “I want them to go on this journey with Scrooge and reflect on how they may live and how they can live in the future and that people can change. And I want them to be filled with that hope and hope for themselves and their families and for all of us.”

Sidebar:

Get in the holiday spirit with Lyric Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” Showtimes are Nov. 29 through Dec. 28. Tickets, $40, are available from lyrictheatreokc.com.

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