'The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge' Brings Holiday Humor to UH

If you thought Ebenezer Scrooge was a changed man at the end of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” think again.

In the University of Houston’s School of Theatre & Dance production of “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge,” the mean miser takes his humbug attitude to the courtroom. He’s suing Jacob Marley’s ghost and the Spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. He’s taking them to task for breaking and entering, kidnapping and several other charges. Too cheap to hire a lawyer, Scrooge serves as his own attorney. The otherworldly defendants on the other hand retain the services of England’s top legal eagle Solomon Rothschild.

The family friendly comic play is part of the school’s Theatre for Young Audiences series. All performances are in UH’s Jose Quintero Theatre. Show times and dates are as follows:

  • Nov. 19 – 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 20 – 2 p.m.
  • Dec. 3 – 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20, $15 for UH faculty, staff and alumni and $10 for seniors and students. They can be purchased by calling 713-743-2929. For additional details, visit http://www.theatredance.uh.edu/buy-tickets/information.asp.

 “The Trial of Ebenezer Scrooge” was written by Mark Brown and premiered in 2004 at the Orlando   Shakespeare Theatre. Since its debut, the play has become a holiday favorite on stages across the country. Seattle Times theater critic Jeff Shannon called the play “a sequel worthy of Dickens’ approval.”

“My inspiration for writing it was when I found myself, many months after 9/11, longing for those few months immediately following 9/11. Those months when it seemed everyone in the world was not thinking of themselves, but of their fellow man and a greater good,” Brown said. “It was the only time in my life when it seemed as if people genuinely cared about other people. I imagined that's how Scrooge felt come March. He swore to keep Christmas in his heart all year long, but in Dickens’ book, there are people who only keep Christmas in their heart during the holidays. I wanted to write a play that said, ‘Hey, the spirit of caring and giving has to be all year long, not just one month.’”

 The UH School of Theatre and Dance produces professional plays, dance concerts, studio productions, a new play festival, and school shows through the Theatre for Young Audiences program. The school performs in the Wortham Theatre and the Quintero Theatre. The Houston Shakespeare Festival is a professional project of the school, which is produced each summer at Miller Outdoor Theatre. The UH School of Theatre & Dance offers bachelor’s and master's degrees in theater and teacher certifications in dance. Its graduate program consists of a master of arts in theatre and master of fine arts in theatre with specializations in acting, directing and design. Faculty includes Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Edward Albee, Tony Award-winning playwright Mark Medoff, Tony Award-winning producer Stuart Ostrow, Tony nominated designer Kevin Rigdon and veteran dramaturg Mark Bly. Among the greats who have taught at the school in previous years are Lanford Wilson, Sir Peter Hall and Jose Quintero. For details on UH's School of Theatre & Dance, visit www.theatredance.uh.edu.