SALADO — Tablerock’s Goodnight Amphitheater’s annual outdoor run of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” starts tonight.
Adapted by Temple resident Harry Sweet, the production keeps the Dickens’ language, but brings the classic novel from the page to the stage in a nearly two-hour performance.
“Harry Sweet took Dickens’ writings and re-wrote it as a play without adding,” said Jackie Mills, Tablerock board of directors vice president. “He said Dickens was good enough. He didn’t need to be improved upon.”
Shannon Ashe is directing the show for the second year, and said she learns something different about Christmas spirit and “A Christmas Carol’s” message every time the cast runs through it.
“The script is always challenging,” she said. “Here we are talkin’ Texan and we have to speak Dickens’ English. But I’m very excited about the end product.”
With a cast and crew of about 50 people, the production mixes longtime Tablerock performers with newer additions each year.
Stephen Robinson, who plays Bob Cratchit, has acted in different Salado performances during the last six years, but this is only his second year participating in “A Christmas Carol.”
“I’m going to be a better Cratchit this year than I was last year. I already know lines,” Robinson said. “It allows you to refine your character a little better.”
Tablerock is a family-oriented establishment from its patrons down to cast and crew.
Robinson’s wife and three sons all are involved in the play.
“It’s a wonderful family kind of thing,” said Robinson, speaking of the bonds cast members build with one another. “I know a lot of people say that, but it’s really like that.”