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Student-led Christmas play gives new spin to ‘A Christmas Carol’

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By Shannon Brock

November, the month that falls neatly between Halloween and Christmas, will play the perfect host this weekend to a play that brings the two holidays together.

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The Spencer County middle and high school drama program will present, “A Christmas Carol,” beginning Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Spencer County Middle School theater.
Between Saturday’s performances, from 4 to 6:30 p.m., the group will host a spaghetti dinner. Dinner is $5 and desserts are available for $1.
The production is directed by SCHS senior Tevis DeZern, who said he put his own take on the classic Christmas tale.
“I like putting my own spin on the play,” DeZern said during a rehearsal Monday night. “Plays are meant to be interpreted.”
DeZern said his interpretation is a little “darker” than some, in part because the story is a ghost story.
“It’s a cross between Halloween and Christmas,” he said. “It has creepy ghosts and holiday morals.”
Students have been preparing, under the oversight of drama teacher Shelby Steege, since September.
The drama program typically has a show in October, but pushed this year’s production to November to be closer to the Christmas season, DeZern said.
This is DeZern’s first turn as the director. He said traditionally he has been on the acting side, but also served as an assistant director for last year’s production of, “The Outsiders.”
This year’s assistant director is Zoë Brooks-Jeffiers, who also plays the part of the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Brooks-Jeffiers is a familiar face in the drama program. She has participated in 15-20 shows between sixth grade and this, her junior year.
However, this is the first Christmas production the program has done, Brooks-Jeffiers said.
Austin Martin plays the role of Ebenezer Scrooge and is in his eighth production with the program.
Brooks-Jeffiers and Martin encourage the community to come see the show.
“We work so hard, and we enjoy doing it, but we do it for the people,” Brooks-Jeffiers said.
“We work as hard as any sports team,” Martin said.
DeZern encourages the community to catch a performance this weekend, as well.
“Support the local arts program,” he said. “This is one of the biggest casts we’ve had.”