Tuesday, November 29, 2011

CONTEST ENTRY: The Scrooge in My Life- Kaitlin S.

When I was in the 7th grade my English class read the book, A Christmas Carol. While some didn't enjoy the book I looked past what they saw and found that the story had an important lesson that I could relate to. A Christmas Carol could be seen as a story of a man who hates his life because of his past but I think its about never giving up when the "Scrooge" in your life brings you down. I'm 15 years old and began doing theater two years ago. I always got ensemble roles and many people like Scrooge would tell me I wasn't important in the show because I wasn't the lead but, after doing a number of shows something struck me that the other actors didn't see. I was just as important. Without me and others in the ensemble there wouldn't be a great show. I was able to show the people who acted like Scrooge how important we ensemble actors were and in the end they understood my point of view and changed for better just like Scrooge did in a Christmas Carol.

CONTEST ENTRY: Once Upon a Real Life Scrooge- Cheryl G.

The holidays are for joy, time with family, no arguments, and selflessness. Sadly not every family can have this picture perfect holiday time for there will always be that one person who can be easily labeled “Scrooge”. The Scrooge of my life is my grandmother.
Every year around the holiday season my younger brother and I get very excited for dinner with aunts and uncles, snow, pine scented candles, the Christmas tree, and, the classic, no school for a week. Although we look forward to this time of year, our holiday spirit gets cut down by our grandmother as she is not one for the holidays and as hard as she tries, it just doesn’t work. The worst Christmas was a few years ago…
It was Christmas morning and my brother and I were up nice and early to make a breakfast of pancakes and bacon for the family. My grandmother got out of bed and was clearly grumpy.
“Merry Christmas Gram!” my brother said to her.
“Merry Christmas” she grunted as she walked to the kitchen.
“We’re just waiting for mom to take the dogs out and come down” I said. She glared at me and mumbled an “okay”. We sat in the parlor and watched Christmas movies for an hour or so waiting for my mom. Finally, my grandmother had had it.
“Where is your mother?” she asked angrily.
“She just got up and is getting ready to take the dogs out now” I said.
“Well, I’m done waiting for her. We need to just get this over with so we can go to Auntie Cindy’s and then come home and be done with Christmas.”
“Gram, she’s on her way down. Just wait a few.”
“Like I said, I’m done waiting.” She got up, grabbed her jacket and walked out of the house. My brother looked at me sadly and started to tear up for he was not happy that this was happening.
We both knew that she hated Christmas but we didn’t think it was enough for her to walk out on her family. My brother and I were very upset with this whole situation as we didn’t think that having to wait for mom was that big of a deal. We thought that the whole spirit of the holidays was to be with your family and do things together even if someone was running a little late.
Eventually my grandmother came back to the house but she was in no better mood than she was when she left. My mom came down once my grandmother had returned and we all sat in the parlor around the Christmas tree and open our gifts.
“Cheryl,” my brother said to me.
“Yes ‘Tonio” I replied.
“We didn’t get as many gifts as we did last year” I helped him put his new clothes away in the drawer.
“Nope we didn’t but that doesn’t matter.”
“How does that not matter” he said going all bug-eyed.
“Because we got something and that’s more than a lot of people can say. So be happy you got something because something it better than nothing.”
We later ventured to my aunt’s house where everyone was smiling and wishing everyone a Merry Christmas except for my grandmother. She was not smiling, she was not happy, and she did not want to be there for she would’ve much rather been home. At the dinner table I asked if I could say something and I was allowed to.
“Merry Christmas everyone. I just want to say that it’s not about the amount of presents under the tree, the amount of money in the envelope, or whether you’re rich or poor. It really just matters who you’re with and that you’re thankful for any thing that you got.” I smiled, sat down and ate with my family.
I looked across the table at my grandmother who still looked miserable. I had thought that my speech would’ve had an impact on her but seemingly it didn’t. Sometimes, one can take a Scrooge and make them better but sometimes, one must just work around their Scrooge and try their best to enjoy the holiday season. Sadly, that’s what my family and I must do.

CONTEST ENTRY: Office Scrooges- Wilhemina R.

I guess my Scrooge would have to be two head secretaries that I have worked with before in two different locations. Scrooge had problems with being a penny pincher. Well these two secretaries are modern day office supply pinchers.
The first location was with the head secretary Zoey (name is not original). I was volunteering with her organization for about eight weeks during the spring/summer seasons. I needed some printer paper to make flyers to outreach for an event that the organization was having. Well if flyers are posted outside the colored paper would attract more people to reading it as well as the flyer being more visible in the night hours. The secretary explained to me in a few sentences basically that colored paper was to expensive, she did use the word expensive, to use for outreaching because the flyers would get damaged by the weather. That it would be a waste of money for the organization although she used nicer words than the ones I am using. I would think that if you would want people to attend your event you would use everything available to you to have high numbers of people at the event. This same secretary almost had a temper tantrum when I asked her for more envelopes to send out a letter for the organization for a mass mailing. She said that she had given me the exact amount of envelopes necessary to stuff with the 500 letters. She was so reluctant to give me more envelopes. The envelopes were not special envelopes just plain size ten business envelopes. Eventually, she gave me the extra envelopes I need to finish the task given to me at the volunteer site. I found it very hard to approach her to ask for office supplies to complete my duties as a volunteer in the office. I only volunteered during that eight week period and never returned there to volunteer except for their one day outdoor projects that they had available a few times a year. I had a marvelous time at the one day outdoor volunteer projects.
The second location the Head Secretary name was Olympia (name is not original). I think Zoey and Olympia went to the same secretary school because they were both office supply pinchers. Olympia would get extremely upset at any mistake that I made while working for her as a secretary. For example, if I was making photocopies and happen to make single sided rather than double sided and then I would have to make a second set of the needed single sided copies, she would tell me that her office does not have a huge supply of paper. Staff at this office had to ask for colored paper and she would only give out her colored paper if she felt the photocopies would be enhanced by using colored paper. Although, she perferred to give out only a limit amount of colored paper for each proposed photocopy packet. Usuallly when you deliver a packet that has been photocopied you would paper clip it so that the recipient would be able to distinguish the originals from the copies well; let just say I had to do without paperclips for a good three weeks. I did not have the basic necessities to perform my job in the office.
I guess what I would want everybody who works in an office is to be grateful for what is available to you. I had the mindset that when you go to a location to volunteer, visit or work that this location would have the supplies you need to complete your task. Boy was I wrong! I have learn that not all people are as organized and caring as I am.
I wonder if there are any laws that state that employment or volunteer locations should have the materials necessary at the location for the employee/volunteer to complete the assigned tasks that they are given. I know that they economy is not that great. That prices on everyday items are going up and our salaries are not increasing proprtionally to these higher prices. I don't think that the employee/volunteer should be required to bring the necessary materials need to the site location to complete assigned tasks. Business, Organizations and monopolies are all trying to save money where they can in their establishments. We the people who work in offices should unite to protest against this injustice that many of us have to face everyday; everyday causing us anguish and stress which compromises our health. Our Health.

CONTEST ENTRY: Oh it's sad that we would have such a story. - Kym M.

Scrooge on Christmas...perhaps it can turn into a good thing?

About three years ago, we went to NY for a family Christmas with all of the children (my husband and his three siblings), seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren at my mother-in-laws (Nana's) house. The cousins were all happy to see each other, since the family lives in different parts of the east coast.

The siblings have had a rift in the past, but we truly thought this was going to be a real family holiday, with over a dozen of us sleeping in Nana's cape cod style house. Following a dinner and great conversation, the kids started to settle in to open their presents. Nothing good can come when hot-headedness and misunderstanding abound...in the tiny living room, our daughter was poked in the eye during the present unwrapping (not a big deal, but she tended overreact loudly over little things). Sibling #1 commented how we couldn't control our child's crying; we tried to ignore it, although we had under-our-breath reactions to Sibling #1's comments. Sibling #2 thought the under-our-breath comments were directed at his child, who we didn't know until later was the poke-r. He marched angrily into the kitchen (we didn't know where he went or why). We could all sense things were falling apart quickly.

A few minutes later, my husband went into the kitchen, and *BAM!* - Sibling #2 gave him a right hook into the eye, which knocked him into the stove (nearly knocking the stove over). Sibling #3 and Adult Grandson had to pull #2 off my husband. Meanwhile, the rest of the grandchildren and great-grandchildren could see the kitchen from where they were sitting in the living room. Sibling #2's four children were looking at the floor during the melee. The other children in the room looked stunned. It was sadly evident to the rest of the adults in the room, that those four children had seen this behavior before.

Christmases need to be happy occasions, and from this incident at Nana Square Garden (as Adult Grandson termed it), we have devoted our immediate family to living a life and surrounding ourselves with people who are NVBSF - Non-Violent and "Drama"-free! Except for theatre-drama, that is!

CONTEST ENTRY: My Scrooge Story- Peggy P.

My Scrooge is my stepfather Neil.

Neil is an alcoholic who married my Mom back in the 80’s. Until he retired he would be totally sober for the entire week then became the “weekend alcoholic” that he was. Every weekend he would alienate himself from the family by insulting all of us. After retirement he drank every day which made things worse. He used to verbally abuse my mother as well. He’d be so drunk he would go to bed between 7 and 8 PM.

Then one day my Mom decided to audio tape him. She played it back for him and gave him the ultimatum. Sober up or leave. He chose to get help.

He admitted himself into a local rehab facility and from that day on didn’t take a drink. Through rehab and AA he became a reformed, good, all around nice man and, until he was admitted to a nursing home for Alzheimer’s, chose not to take a drink. I give him all the credit in the world.

From alcohol abuse to totally sober since the 1990’s, his life was transformed. His daughter moved him to California with her and he is in a facility in which she volunteers so she sees him daily. The people in the facility love him. I miss him but I know that where he is now is the best for him.

He evolved from “Mr. Scrooge” to “Uncle Scrooge” and I hope his life will end peacefully and happily for him.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Music and dancing...

We started rehearsal yesterday, with everyone still full of Thanksgiving turkey - music for 4 hours and then a read through of the script. The music sounds great - we have a very talented singing cast!

Today is mostly choreography - always very stop and go, and it takes a while to put it all together. Once everyone learns their piece though, it comes together into a nice whole. I've always found it fascinating that it's not until you can look at the whole song, that you can appreciate what's been in the mind of the choreographer since the beginning.

We did "Deck the Hall" this morning, and "The Holly and the Ivy," for the appearance of the Spirit of Christmas Past. Tori Heinlein has a beautiful young voice as the Spirit - I like this part better, already, than last year!

On lunch break now; then back in 15 minutes to stage the party at Fred & Millie's house!

Troy Siebels, Director

Friday, November 25, 2011


We are so excited to be starting a blog about our annual production of A Christmas Carol. You can look forward to getting the inside scoop about our contests, promotions, and insights from the cast and director!

With rehearsals starting today, Troy Siebels (our executive director and the man behind New England's largest and most spectacular production of this holiday favorite) is busily working on his final notes and prepartions for another whirlwind of rehearsals, fittings, and oh-so-much more!

In the meantime, don't be shy if you want to win a walk-on role in this elaborate and lush celebration of the true spirit of the season...the deadline for entering your best story about the Scrooge in your life is coming up soon! You have until December 1, 2011 at 5pm to email marketing@thehanovertheatre.org your personal submission. This is a great way let your inner Dickens shine through and turn those Bah Humbugs into feelings of Fezziwig!

For more details, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OaQEta4ajlY&feature=youtu.be and you'll also get a good idea of just how fabulous this show really is...and how people of ALL ages love to see it...year after year!

Til next time,

Lisa Condit

Director of Marketing & PR

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts