STILLWATER, Okla. —
Oklahoma City’s Lyric Theatre is rolling out its holiday tradition of “A Christmas Carol” with Stillwater High School junior Edyn Rolls appearing as Tiny Tim’s sister, Martha Cratchit.
Although she is a veteran of many Lyric productions, this is her first time to perform in “A Christmas Carol.” There’s also a new scrooge in Oklahoma with nationally-acclaimed actor Chris Bloch performing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge direct from Washington D.C.’s Ford Theatre’s production of “A Christmas Carol.” Bloch is known for his work in “Les Miserables” and TV’s “The West Wing.”
Rolls said it’s a great opportunity to work with professional actors and stage crews. She said live theater is “very enchanting” with each show having it’s own personality. The building itself is an old movie theater that has been renovated for stage productions. Michael Baron, Lyric’s artistic director and “A Christmas Carol” director, has adapted the show for the Lyric stage and actors.
“You’ll hear the most traditional English carols like ‘Silent Night’ and ‘I Saw Three Ships Come Sailing In,” Rolls said. “And, there’s every aspect of human interaction.”
The musical developed through the centuries from a Charles Dickens' novella about a bitter old miser who is transformed after some supernatural visitors change his perspective. From all the Cratchits to Scrooge, “it’s a very thoughtful story of Christmas that the whole family will enjoy,” Rolls said. “With Michael Baron’s script — no one else is doing the show exactly this way.”
Rolls and Bloch will not be the only new additions to the cast this year. Jennifer Teel will take on the role of The Ghost of Christmas Past. Returning cast members include Tom Huston Orr as Bob Cratchit; Matthew Alvin Brown as Fred/Young Scrooge; Mandy Jiran as The Ghost of Christmas Present; Tommy Cunningham as Jacob Marley/Mr. Fezziwig; Susan Riley as Mrs. Cratchit; Mat Govich as the Solicitor/Undertaker; Lexi Windsor as Mrs. Fred; Melissa Griffith as Belle; Brenda Williams as Mrs. Dilber and Charlie Monnot as Topper. In a special appearance, Vince Leseney will take over the role of Bob Cratchit Dec. 26 through 28.
With a double children’s cast, Rolls will appear in performances scheduled Thursday through Sunday and Dec. 17, 19, 20, 22 and 26.
Rolls has studied acting at the Lyric Theatre’s Thelma Gaylord Academy, a professional training ground for students ages 5-18 offering classes in all aspects of musical theater. Performing in professional theater alongside today’s stars is an opportunity she has treasured. Her parents, Brenda and Mark Rolls, have been very supportive of her theatrical dreams as she has performed in “Grease,” “Into the Woods,” “Kiss Me Kate,” “Oliver,” and “Godspell” through the academy. They drive her to academy classes in Oklahoma City on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Rolls has also spent several weeks at Oklahoma City University during the summers studying musical theater.
“The Lyric is a remarkable company and great place to work,” Rolls said. “They have grown-up souls and spirit — with the heart of itty-bitty kids — and full of life.”
Tickets for Lyric’s “A Christmas Carol” are available at 405-524-9312 or LyricTheatreOKC.com or the box office at 1727 N.W. 16th Street in Oklahoma City.