Event: Jason Woods’ A Christmas Carol
Venue: WJCT Studio A Soundstage
Date/Time: Dec 21-22 at 7:30pm
As playwright, composer and storyteller, Jason Woods transforms into twenty-five characters in his one-man performance of A Christmas Carol. This intimate, holiday event is staged 7:30pm Dec 21-22 at the WJCT Studio A Soundstage, 100 Festival Park Ave. Woods also served as composer, crafting a masterful score for this 90-minute production (www.JasonWoodsAChristmasCarol.com). It’s a solo reading that feels like an ensemble performance.
Throughout history, Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been interpreted on stage, in film and even in cartoon form (remember Scrooge McDuck?). First penned by Dickens in 1843, the classic tale tells the story of the penny-pinching, bad-tempered Ebenezer Scrooge and his life-changing night journey through his past, present and future – courtesy of three ghostly visitations – has remained a holiday favorite around the world.
Scrooge is a bristly old miser who doesn’t celebrate the season and wishes ill will on all who do. On a freezing Christmas Eve, he is visited by the ghost of his business partner, Jacob Marley, who warns that he will be haunted by three spirits. The past, present, and future collide to show Scrooge what his life could have been and where it is going.
Sometimes, it only takes one person to bring people together and share in the magic of
the collective experience. Playwright, actor and composer Jason Woods is hoping to
impart a little joy this season with the return of his solo staging of “A Christmas Carol” at
various venues throughout December.
“I’m hoping “A Christmas Carol” has a new depth to it this year for people,” says Woods.
“I’ve heard from people who’ve seen the show how they felt uplifted as they left and I’d
like to think that audiences will benefit from that in their lives, not just at Christmas.”
Now in its fifth year, Woods delivers a textured solo performance with the heart and
dimension of an ensemble cast as he embodies all 25 different roles. Each character is
fully realized with passion and humanity, from Marley's remorse to Scrooge’s
exuberance as he is filled the spirit of the season. Tickets to each event are available at
Woods also composed an original score for the 90-minute production that evokes the
dark streets of Victorian London. This year, he has arranged a new opening to help
create a more immersive audience experience. “I’ve composed some new music and
wrote a new theme for the opening,” says Woods. “I’ve touched up some stuff to make it
sound a little richer.”
On Dec. 10, Woods helps close out the second annual Dickens on Centre festival on
Amelia Island with a performance in the downtown square. Historic downtown
Fernandina Beach is transformed into a classic English village from Dec. 8-11 with
costumed characters, themed performances and visits from Saint Nick. Inspired by
Charles Dickens’ novella “A Christmas Carol,” Dickens on Centre is a family friendly
event that also includes chestnuts roasting, carolers strolling and readings of ‘Twas the
Night Before Christmas.
Woods brings his unforgettable storytelling event to life at 7:30pm Dec 11 at Christ
Episcopal Church where he most recently directed his musical production of Peter Pan.
“A Christmas Carol” benefits the Healthy U Now Foundation for autism research.
A benefit for the JT Townshend Foundation is staged Dec 15 at the WJCT Studio A
Soundstage. The JT Townsend Foundation is a nonprofit organization whose
mission is to better the lives of children and adults with disabilities on the First
Coast by providing financial assistance, adaptive equipment and research
funding. Woods staged two readings of “A Christmas Carol” on the sound stage in
Woods will deliver his final local performance of “A Christmas Carol” Dec 17 on the
Thrasher Horne Center Studio Theatre. This marks Woods’ first appearance at the
Orange Park performing arts center.
A special performance of “A Christmas Carol” will be staged at the Krider Performing
Arts Center in Woods’ hometown of Paris, Tennessee. The performing arts center is
named after Ruby Krider, who taught public speaking and drama to many generations of
Parisians including Tony winner Cherry Jones, Pulitzer Prize winner John Noble
Wilford, Cheers star Shelley Long, Vanderbilt law professor Robert Covington and Ford
Motor Company Controller Frank Mason. It’s a special honor that Woods is looking
forward to sharing with his family.
“She was a very humble woman who was very good at what she did. She taught me for
a very brief time when I was in middle school or high school. When she died, they
erected this performing arts center and they are hosting me,” says Woods. “It’s the first
time I am taking the show to my hometown. Family, friends and people that I grew up
with can come see the show. My kids are excited to go and my parents are there so we’ll
get to spend Christmas with them this year. I’m delighted and it’s just a lovely thing.”