The Coal Country Christmas Carol has grown into an annual tradition.
Several years ago, playwright Joe Hiatt and friends wanted to create a version of the classic Dickens’ story, “A Christmas Carol.” However, there were a few elements Mr. Hiatt wanted to use if he were going to write an adaptation. First, he wanted to make it specific to the coal region of Pennsylvania, a place Dickens himself visited when he came to America.
“There is so much history here that speaks directly to the Scrooge story,” Hiatt explains, “I wanted to bring it home and make it unique to Pennsylvania, which has no shortage of ghosts!”
He also uses the incredible talents of the artists and performers who live and work in the coal region. Home not only to actors and writers, but some of the finest musicians, dancers, circus performers and visual artists around, Carbon County is truly unusual. From this idea grew the Christmas Carol as a live, staged radio play where anything and everything can happen.
What do Scrooge’s ghosts look like? What are his memories? The first time Dani Davison flew out over the audience in an aerial ballet or the velvet box grew into Dan Becker’s towering Christmas tree we realized, in the world of the imagination, it could be anything.
This year, we’re going even further with more music; tradition and original songs by the Free Range Folk, Christie McGorry and more, we’ve added the amazing talents of Bill Lance, Maya Kowalcyk and the Eclectic Circus. Be ready for the march of the breaker boys, the dance of the silk mill girls and, of course, ghosts! It promises to be a Christmas Carol like you’ve never seen before.
“The Coal Country Christmas Carol” is a Jim Thorpe tradition that the entire family can enjoy. You can purchase tickets on the Mauch Chunk Opera House website or downtown at SoundCheck Records. Call 570-325-0249 for more information.