Lifestyle

Stage Left’s ‘Marley’ is a story of redemption, with a twist

Dare to redeem Scrooge’s soul from greed and betrayal on Christmas Eve? Join Jacob Marley on his quest to save Ebenezer Scrooge from eternal damnation in Island Stage Left’s presentation of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” Thursday through Dec. 24, in the Roche Harbor Pavilion.  - John Sinclair
Dare to redeem Scrooge’s soul from greed and betrayal on Christmas Eve? Join Jacob Marley on his quest to save Ebenezer Scrooge from eternal damnation in Island Stage Left’s presentation of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” Thursday through Dec. 24, in the Roche Harbor Pavilion.
— image credit: John Sinclair

Dare to redeem Scrooge's soul from greed and betrayal on Christmas Eve?

Join Jacob Marley on his quest to save Ebenezer Scrooge from eternal damnation in Island Stage Left’s presentation of “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” Thursday through Dec. 24, in the Roche Harbor Pavilion.

Performances are scheduled Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., Sundays and Christmas Eve at 4 p.m. Thanksgiving is a non-performance night.

Admission is free but donations are welcome.

This rather haunting tale is told with a twist of irony, humor and satire.

Every year, director Helen Machin-Smith searches for an alternative script for the holidays. “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” resonated with her. She chose this play shortly before the stock market sank, sending our country into a financial tailspin. Machin-Smith described her selection as “a moment of inspiration.”

Scrooge and Marley were business partners with seats on the London Stock Exchange. Together, they accumulated vast amount of wealth via usurious moneylending.

“I wear the chain I forged in life. I made it link by link, yard by yard, cash box by cash box,” Marley says in the play.

Marley dies on Christmas Eve and is condemned to forever walk the earth dragging heavy chains filled with money boxes, forced to observe the human beings he affected. However, opportunity arises for him to rescue Scrooge and together they explore their past, present and future.

On Christmas Eve, “they traveled the world, that night; and both Scrooge and Marley saw many things they had never seen, or had avoided seeing, or had seen and then forgotten.”

As a twist to the classic tale, Marley is presented with images of his life as a boy, a moneylender, and his future of life in hell. Together, they discover how a life of indulgences and little remorse leads to utter loneliness and misery.

Caught off-guard by his guide Bogel, Marley is presented with the early death of his mother, Scrooge’s attempt to seize the business, and horrible happenings in hell.

Both businessmen are transformed and the chains of greed and selfishness are unlocked. Within the spirit of the ghost of Christmas past, present and future, Marley forever gains a spirit of generosity and self discovery.

A four-member cast performs multiple roles — 18 in total. The cast is Daniel Mayes, Chris DeStaffany, Ann Cozzalio and Krista Strutz.

DeStaffany has performed in many productions and written plays for the playwrights festival.

Cozzalio has been involved in theater most of her life. She plays Scrooge in one of her many roles.

Professional actor Mayes has been acting for 40 years. He and Machin-Smith founded Stage Left to provide free quality theater for islanders.

Strutz, as Bogle, trained at the Goodman School of Drama in Chicago where “Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol” was first performed in 1998.

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