The ghostly Mr. Marley (Dylan Giles) spooks Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) inside the gallery on Christmas Eve to let her know of the upcoming visitors she will have to show her the past, present and future during the play’s performance Dec. 20. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

A twisted Scrooge big hit with St. Augustine Ponoka audience

St. Augustine arts program shows growth

What would a traditional Christmas story look like with a wrinkle to the plot?

Well, the novel turned play turned movie winds up as a unique, fun and very entertaining yet twisted play.

St. Augustine School’s high school drama program performed A 21st Century Christmas Carol, a modernized adaptation of the Charles Dickens’ story, in front of an audience in the school’s gym on Dec. 20 and 22.

“It’s a Christmas Carol with a gender reversal and placed in more modern times,” explained Nicole Josephison, drama and art teacher.

“It’s got all of the same type of characters, but is a fun, modern language take on it that occurs in a mall.”

This updated version features Eleanor Scrooge as the miserly, bah humbug, owner of a mall art gallery. As in the original, Scrooge — played by Lyrra Matira — goes through the three phases of past, present and future and eventually winds up turning her attitude around.

However, in this version Mr. Marley — the former owner of the gallery who employed Scrooge — appears as a ghost after dying recently and known more for being a bitter, money hungry, slave driver. Marley, played by Dylan Giles, also gets to have some fun as he constantly wanders through every scene with some hilarious antics.

Josephison stated that the drama program has become so popular at the school that there will be two productions this year as opposed to one. This play will finish off the first semester, while another class next semester will perform the musical Beauty and the Beast Junior.

“I’ve been so blessed with such a talented group for this production,” Josephison added.

“The set and the artwork was done by the CTS (Career and Technology Studies) students and the majority of the technical/make-up crew are students. Plus, the help with the costumes and designing them from Dayna Wittal (another St. Augustine teacher) was wonderful.

“The fact that we had so many that wanted to take drama this year that we had to offer it in both semesters is excellent to see and it’s great that we are able to keep building the program.”

She also stated it’s the great support of the arts from principal Kevin Prediger that makes this growth possible.

Christmas playSt Augustine Catholic School Ponoka

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Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) gives Mr. Marley (Dylan Giles) a piece of her mind about not changing how and who she is no matter who comes calling during the performance on Dec. 20. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

Mr. Marley (Dylan Giles) struggles to convince Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) of his existence and what he must do for her so she doesn’t follow the same terrible path he went during the play’s performance Dec. 20. Photos by Jordie Dwyer

(L-R) Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) stands beside the ghost of the present (Yael Witvoet) and watches as the present day life of the Hatchetts - Stella (Madison Fleck), Dad (Nick Kelly), Tiny Tim (Kim Perena) and Bobby (Christian Bautistia) - sitting down to Christmas dinner. The family is lamenting not having Scrooge there as well as having to work Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Mr. Marley (Dylan Giles) mimes the action.

(L-R) Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) stands beside the ghost of the present (Yael Witvoet) and watches as the present day life of the Hatchetts - Stella (Madison Fleck), Dad (Nick Kelly), Tiny Tim (Kim Perena) and Bobby (Christian Bautistia) - sitting down to Christmas dinner. The family is lamenting not having Scrooge there as well as having to work Christmas Day. Meanwhile, Mr. Marley (Dylan Giles) mimes the action. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

With a whirl and a twirl, Scrooge (Lyrra Matira) and ghost of the present (Yael Witvoet) spin between places and time during the play.

Ghost of the future (Aaron Perez) shows Scrooge her final resting place and the very somber tombstone stating she dies miserable and alone, which ultimately pushes Scrooge to realize she must change her ways in order to not suffer the same fate as Mr. Marley. Photo by Jordie Dwyer

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