HomeNewsJackson Theater Guild presents ‘A Christmas Carol’ this weekend

Jackson Theater Guild presents ‘A Christmas Carol’ this weekend

This is the final full weekend before Christmas, and it’s a chance to take in a production of the holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol,” at The Ned (314 East Main Street in Downtown Jackson) by the Jackson Theater Guild.

Billy Worboys is co-director for the production with Lauren Pritchard and also plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

He said with more than 40 people involved on stage and about 15 more involved in backstage production and direction, this event is one of the biggest the Guild has ever done.

“And it’s really good because we’ve got one family who has four children and the dad/husband acting on the stage, while the wife/mom is helping backstage,” Worboys said. “We’ve got a few families filling multiple roles like that.

“And it is nice when we can get the children’s theater group involved in a production with us too.”

Of the normal four productions JTG typically produces, the Christmas production is typically the only time there’s a lot of collaboration between the two groups.

This weekend’s performances are the culmination of eight weeks of rehearsals that happen three times a week, two hours each time.

“That schedule gives us somewhere around 20 to 22 rehearsals,” Worboys said. “And I’ve been doing this 55 years, but it never gets old watching the process of those rehearsals as it evolves from a group of actors reading lines on a piece of paper to where they come in here and become the characters they’re reading.

“And as that process takes shape, we can always see the production coming together and becoming something really special that we hope theater fans in Jackson will enjoy.”

Worboys was discussing the production on Monday, sitting in the front row at The Ned looking up at the stage, where the set had already been assembled. Just like rehearsing, that also was a time-consuming process.

“This set was put together at our building next to RIFA where many of us spent every Saturday for a couple months from 8 or 9 in the morning until noon or 1 o’clock building the set you see in front of you,” Worboys said. “And then last weekend, we took the pieces of the set down and hauled them over here to be reassembled into the set you see before you.

“Five or six hours later, we were having our first rehearsal on this stage.”

Worboys, who grew up in Humboldt and found his niche in acting at 12 years old, said community theater is always interesting for those who watch the production.

“You can see it looking at the crowd or you talk to someone after a performance, and they’re like, ‘That person there … I didn’t know they could act,’” Worboys said. “And usually the next one is ‘And he or she is a pretty good actor.’

“It’s not just going to watch a performance when you attend community theater. You’re seeing your friends, relatives, neighbors … and that just adds intrigue to the performance that everybody enjoys.”

Performances this weekend are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are available online at jtgonline.com. Matinee tickets are $15 apiece. Evening showings are $16 for students, $24 for adults and $18 for seniors.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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