With the season’s first snow on the ground and the holidays upon us, who isn’t drawn to the traditional Charles Dickens’ tale of “A Christmas Carol” and its characters such as the transforming Scrooge, loving Bob Cratchit or the heartmelting Tiny Tim?
Mrs. Bob Cratchit — that’s who.
Gretna High School’s one-act performance of “Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge” is a comedic take on the famous holiday story, asking what if Mrs. Cratchit could care less if God blessed us.
“It’s quite a take off,” Director Carole Carraher said.
The storyline follows the traditional tale, up to the point where Ebenezer Scrooge meets the Ghost of Christmas Past. The ghost’s magic, however, seems to be off as she takes him to a series of misplaced scenes, starting with the present Cratchit household.
Not all is well with the Cratchits, as Mrs. Bob Cratchit is sick of her husband, her son Tiny Tim and the rest of her 20 children.
Fleeing the scene, Scrooge and the Ghost get to their intended target — the Fezziwig party in the past — but have somehow dragged Mrs. Cratchit with them. So begins their wacky journey through time.
Carraher said work on the play began in October, when the speaking parts were cast and rehearsals began. The rest of the ensemble joined on Nov. 1.
The group has already had three performances, with the Nov. 12 Parent Forum preview, its first community showing on Sunday and yesterday’s Eastern Midlands Conference One-Act Tournament at Elkhorn High School.
She said her students have done a fantastic job this year and have put a lot of work into the show.
“I have a great group of seniors,” she said. “They really are leading this show.”
She added, however, the two leading roles, Scrooge and Mrs. Cratchit, are played by juniors Paulie Clines and Rachel Schollert. These two have also done a wonderful job, Carraher said.
Carraher said Clines drives the show with his comedic timing and engagement with the audience.
“He has the most amazing facial expressions,” she said.
As for Schollert, Carraher said she has overcome the difficulties of playing a very serious role in a very comedic one act.
“She’s worked really, really hard to create her character,” Carraher said.
The director also applauded twins David and Luke Beran, playing father and son Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.
“It’s really fun to watch the dynamics between them as a father and son,” she said.
Off the stage, Carraher said Logan Herring has done a fantastic job running sound for the one act.
The play will run for two more public showings, the first being Sunday at 7 p.m. in the GHS auditorium. Cost of entry is a freewill donation toward the Gretna Neighbors.
Beyond this performance, GHS will host the One-Act District Contest on Tuesday with shows beginning at 2 p.m. Carraher said the Gretna one-act will perform at 6 p.m.
“This is usually our strongest showing,” she said.
Adding that the stakes are high, Carraher said the students must win at the district level to proceed to the state level.
GHS has a history at state, reaching the competition every year for the past 26 years, except for 1990. Additionally, the students have taken home the state title for the past three years.
“Seniors who have been in it have won three state championships,” Carraher said. “Of course, each year is its own, so don’t think for a second they aren’t aiming for a fourth.”
The public is welcome at the District competitions, with cost of entry being $5 for adults and $4 for children. The Gretna cast is hoping for a large turnout from its hometown.
“We’d love to have a great showing from the community,” Carraher said.