A sizable crowd gathered in the basement of the Great Bend Public Library Saturday morning for a one-man production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” It’s the story of miserly businessman Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the ghost of his life-long associate Jacob Marley and three ghosts of Christmas one Christmas Eve. What he learns leads him to reexamine how he keeps Christmas. Brett Crandall wrote and performed his version of the tale, which doesn’t shy away from the period language used by the author Dickens. He kept his audience mesmerized as he acted out several roles alongside Ebenezer Scrooge, a puppet he designed himself for the role.
Children were invited at intervals to act out a part in the play, using props supplied by Crandall. They played the parts of Scrooge’s little sister in the Ghost of Christmas Past scene, Tiny Tim and Mrs. Cratchett in the Ghost of Christmas Present scene, and one girl interacted with Scrooge from her seat during the Christmas morning scene when Scrooge’s generosity finally surfaces.
This was the third time Crandall has performed for GBPL patrons. A Kansas native from Deerfield, he returned home a few years ago after studying theater and improvisational acting in New York City for 10 years. He founded Brett Crandall Studios with a mission to provide enrichment programming for Kansans. He tours the state, performing in libraries throughout the year. He has produced versions of Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” and J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” and in 2020 he will tour with his version of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale.
Crandall can be found on facebook, and at brettcrandallstudios.com