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A Noise Within Marks 5th Year Bringing ‘A Christmas Carol’ to the Local Stage

This year, A Noise Within repertory theater company is not only celebrating its 25th anniversary season, but also marking its fifth year bringing a Charles Dickens classic holiday story to the stage.

“A Christmas Carol” will open on Friday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. and run until Friday, Dec. 23 at A Noise Within in Pasadena.

The theater company’s Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott will once again co-direct the play that Elliott adapted himself from the novella.

Rodriguez-Elliott said it’s “amazing” to be producing “A Christmas Carol” for the fifth straight year and it always feels right to put it on at this time of year.

“It’s just the right tonic,” she said. “Everyone seems to feel the holiday stress and there’s something about revisiting this incredible story year after year.”

“Remounting our acclaimed presentation of Charles Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ allows families to once again take a supremely theatrical journey and celebrate the transformative power of forgiveness during the holidays,” Geoff Elliott said.

“Aside from the moral of the story, it’s a magical experience,” Rodriguez-Elliott added. “Whether you’re 4 years old or 104 years old, there are a lot of surprises and things that can only be done in the theater.”

At the end of the production, the actors will come out in costume to take photos with the audience members—both children and adults.

Rodriguez-Elliott said she loves seeing families come together to enjoy the theater experience.

“A Christmas Carol” is a family experience in itself for the Elliott family, with husband-and-wife team, Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott directing and their adult daughter, Alison, playing the roles of Belle/Laundress and 14-year-old son, Jack Elliott, acting as Peter Cratchit. Geoff Elliott also will act in the role of Scrooge.

“Having it be the fifth anniversary is really incredible,” Alison Elliott said. “I can’t believe we’ve been doing it five years in a row. It’s a joy to do it every year.”

She said it feels like a brand new show every year to the cast.

“We grow so much in the year as humans,” Alison Elliott said. “When we get to do it in the fall, we bring something new to the experience. It never feels the same.”

She added that some of the cast members change from year to year, bringing new energy to the show.

“It’s really a timeless story,” Alison Elliott said. “I think a lot of scenes are universal. It’s really a play about humanity. It’s a new take on the story that you’re not going to see anywhere else. It was completely adapted by my father. He took the novel and reworked it.”

Alison Elliott has been acting at A Noise Within for a long time and was very young when her parents founded the theater company in 1991.

“The first time I was on stage in ‘A Doll’s House,’ I was 5 or 6,” she said.

While she was growing up, Alison Elliott—on her own accord—memorized all of the actors’ lines just in case an understudy was needed.  She joked that A Noise Within resident actress Deborah Strang used to tell her that she was comforted to know that Alison would be ready to take her role if anything happened to her.

Alison Elliott officially became a resident artist with A Noise Within in 2012.

Rodriguez-Elliott said working together in the theater is very much a part of the lives of the family members and they don’t think much about it.

“It’s no different than having a family business,” she said.

In addition to the Elliott Family, additional cast for “A Christmas Carol” this year is: Freddy Douglas as Narrator; Eric Curtis Johnson as Cratchit; Rafael Goldstein as Fred/Young Scrooge; Jill Hill as Mrs. Cratchit/Mrs. Fezziwig; Jeremy Raab as Marley; Deborah Strang as Ghost of Christmas Past/Charwoman; Steve Weingartner as Ghost of Christmas Present/Benevolent Gentleman and Eli Stuart as Tiny Tim.

The ensemble is Samuel Christian, Rigel Pierce-English, Seven Pierce-English, Taleen Shrikian, Richy Storrs, Savannah Gilmore, Ashlyn Woo, Megan Farber and Tyler Miclean.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased by phone at 626-356-3100, online at www.ANoiseWithin.org or by stopping by the A Noise Within Box Office. A Noise Within theater is located at 3352 East Foothill Blvd. in Pasadena.

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