By Jamie Bullins

Lincoln Community Playhouse, Thursday, November 19, 2021, 7:30 pm. 

This story is not strange to me. Nor to anyone nowadays, I can only assume. I have designed or directed, or long ago been a Nephew Fred, myself, at least six or seven times in my career in the Theatre. 

We have seen Alastair Sim, Mr. Magoo, Albert Finney, Mickey Mouse, George C. Scott, Michael Caine (with a certain frog), Jack Palance, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer, Jim Carey, Guy Pearce, and Bill Murray assume the duties of Ebenezer Scrooge throughout the film history of Dickens’ tale of hope and redemption. 

There’s hope, even for the worst of us, in us. 

You will quickly learn that Dick Terhune is no stranger to the Lincoln Community Playhouse, he is, in fact, one of the Legends of the organization, literally. Thanks for coming back to visit us, Dick. You’re just in time to crank up that beautiful, necessary spirit of Christmas. 

This is a special adaptation of the story, from Patrick R. Spadaccino, a one-man tour deforce through the novella, originally published in 1843. 

Picture yourself in a comfy living room, in front of a fireplace, sipping some hot chocolate with the family. Someone begins to read the story, once again, one of a hundred times you’ve heard it. But this time it’s something special. Each character comes to life with care, nuance, and fantastic attention to detail: Mr. Fezziwig, Belle, Martha Cratchit, and, of course, Tiny Tim. Dick Terhune shifts effortlessly from one character to another and we willingly follow, sitting metaphorically cross-legged on the floor, mouths agape in wonder. It’s an opportunity to slow down, and shut off all those glowing, noisy things. With only a few set pieces, no props or additional costumes, and some key lighting shifts, we are transported to 19th Century London. 

Why are we so fascinated with this old coot? My theory is that we are all Scrooge in some ways, hoping for a second opportunity to make right our wrongs. Regret is a mean-spirited bedfellow, but hope is the flip side of that coin. We cling to it and need it. If this super-crabby hateful man can get a second shot at his life going forward, why not me?

Mr. Terhune brings this story to life beautifully, all on his own. We need to hear this particular story now more than ever. When Fred says, “…to think of people as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys,” it’s a distinct reminder that strikes home today. We’re all in this together, a community, if you will. 

“I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me.” Charles Dickens got it; Dick Terhune gets it. 

How many times do we need to hear, or see, A Christmas Carol? As many as it takes. 

Get your tickets today. There are only two more performances. Take the kids, the neighbors, their kids. Invite everyone you know. Thank you, Lincoln Community Playhouse, keep telling your stories.

If you go: You can catch A Christmas Carol November 19-21, Fridays/Saturdays at 7:30 pm, Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets may be purchased online.  

Jamie Bullins is on the faculty in the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film at UNL, since the fall of 2017. He is an Educator, Scenographer, Director, and Playwright and has been at it for almost 30 years now. 

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