A Christmas Carol, a Christmas Tradition

A Christmas Carol is a timeless tale of remembering the joy of family, friends and the spirit of Christmas. A story that is a tradition in homes celebrating the holiday, A Christmas Carol has become a tradition at the Playhouse as well. This will be the 38th year for OCP to bring Scrooge, Tiny Tim and all the characters to life for your family to celebrate the Christmas season!

More than almost any other holiday, Christmas is full of traditions: with family, friends, work, school, community and everywhere in between. A Christmas Carol has become a staple at OCP, but our actors have many other traditions as well.

In preparation for the start of the show, with the cold coming and the decorations going up, a few of the A Christmas Carol actors wanted to share their holiday traditions with everyone coming to the show. Are there ones that you participate in as well?

Don Keelan-White (Jacob Marley) joined the ACC cast last year, where he found out that the cast draws names for "Secret Scrooge," a holiday gift exchange. "It just added another wonderful layer to the awesome experience of being in this OCP production," said Don. He also loves having a Christmas tree every year but, being over 100 miles away from home (he is from York, NE), he has now transferred the tradition to his sons, who live together in Benson. Another long-standing tradition is having Christmas crackers, a non-edible item that he and his late wife brought back from a trip to England many years ago. "I love Christmas, and I love being in A Christmas Carol!"

Julie Huff (Ghost of Christmas Past) has been a part of OCP's A Christmas Carol for the past 18/19 years ("I usually just guess at the number from how old my son is."). You would think the actors wouldn't have time for anything else around being in a play, but Julie makes sure her house and dressing room are decorated every year. She also throws a big Christmas Caroling party each year for her friends, where she loves seeing everyone come together to sing. In the show, Julie loves portraying the small stories the audience may not see just as much as the big Scrooge one: "Our own little invisible family stories that turn into something that is not quite real and not quite make believe."

Emily Mokrycki (Mrs. Cratchit) is a part of A Christmas Carol again for her fourth year. Other than the show, though, Emily has a LOT of Christmas traditions: listening to Amy Grant's "A Christmas Album", decorating like a pro, attending candlelight service, opening a gift of pajamas each Christmas Eve and never leaving the house on Christmas Day. This is also her first Christmas being married, so she gets to learn a whole new set of family traditions. "What makes them so special is that each year it makes me think of the most important people in my life. There is comfort and familiarity in the traditions; they make me feel safe and loved." Emily also said that ACC is becoming "one of my favorite traditions every year!"

Jerry Longe (Ebenezer Scrooge) is celebrating his eighth year playing Scrooge, but has also played the roles Marley, Jake and Christmas Present on tours. Other than being a part of ACC, Jerry has a large crab dinner with friends (his "chosen family") every Christmas Eve. His family lives in Texas and Florida, so he makes sure to celebrate Christmas with them every year over the phone.
The Omaha Community Playhouse wants to celebrate these traditions and their importance, and invite you to join us in our tradition. Whether it's your first time or 38th, we hope that seeing A Christmas Carol becomes a tradition that will enhance your holiday spirit.

Omaha Community Playhouse's A Christmas Carol will be running Nov. 22-Dec. 23; Wednesday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Before Dec. 15, tickets are $35 for adults and $24 for students. Dec. 15-23, ticket prices are $39 for adults and $28 for students. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (402) 553-0800, visit the Box Office or click here.

Story by Shannon Kern

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