October 17, 2008


Contact: Brent Simpson, 919-831-6936

Ira David Wood III’s A CHRISTMAS CAROL at Two Triangle Locations

Raleigh, NC – It’s the “be all, the do all, the end all,” as Ebenezer Scrooge would say, for Theatre In The Park as it celebrates the 34th anniversary of Ira David Wood III’s original musical, comedy, adaptation of the classic story by Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol.

Three generations of theatergoers have considered Wood’s A Christmas Carol their kickoff to the holiday season. “Mr. Dickens gave the world a priceless gift when he wrote A Christmas Carol. We’ve been fortunate enough to be able to simply pass that gift along to others. During one very special season of the year, there’s no better feeling in the world,” said Ira David Wood III.

When the show premiered in 1974, “we had to sell the cushions off the lobby sofas in order to accommodate the overflow crowds,” notes Wood. Each year the script changes to reflect changes in the world and more specifically in the Triangle area. Local business gain additional notoriety when mentioned in the show, such as last year’s inclusion of “The Badger”, from Johnson Motors.

Three decades has carried with it quite a number of changes and notable milestones. Wood and the cast have taken the show internationally to England and France, and while in Kingston- Upon-Hall, England performed for surviving members of the Dickens family (to resounding success). Theatre In The Park has been invited to return to Compiègne, France, Raleigh’s sister city, in 2009, for a repeat performance, 20 years after A Christmas Carol’s was originally performed in this loving city.

Many of the children who have been in the show have gone on to bigger and better things – like Frankie Muniz, Evan Rachel Wood, Patrick Stogner, Michael C. Hall, Terrance Mann, Bobby Bowman, Wally Jones and Eric Woodall. We’ve even had several marriage proposals and one wedding take place on the stage!

This year has been a year with hotly contested political campaigns, drops in the Dow, foreclosures, bail outs, soaring gas prices and the war in Iraq. With all the stress everyone is experiencing, we invite fans young and old, returning and new, to attend the show and experience the timely story’s message of Scrooge: if Scrooge can do it… if he can manage such a miraculous transformation…then there is hope for us all – hope that we can become better people than we are. In this day and age, that’s a message that certainly bears repeating.

A Christmas Carol will be the first major theatrical production to grace the stage at the New Durham Performing Arts Center, December 5 – 7, 2008, before the traditional performances at Raleigh’s Memorial Auditorium, December 9 – 17, 2008. Tickets are on sale beginning Sunday, October 19th through Ticketmaster.com or 919-834-4000 and at the box offices at the Durham Performing Arts Center and Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh.

See attached for cast list.