WVHS theatre department presents “A Christmas Carol”
■ Corey Evan / Reporter
During the holiday season, it’s easy to forget about the reasons for the season and get lost in the commercial side of it. No fictional character illustrates this more readily perhaps than Charles Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge. And during the weekend of Thursday Dec. 6 through Saturday Dec. 8, the students of the West Valley High School theatre department brought him, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley, Tiny Tim and the rest to life in the Stacey Bailey Theatre for their rendition of the timeless Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol.”
For Theatre Director Cheri Kehler and her team, this play has been the most fun they could have at this time of year: “‘A Christmas Carol’ is a story that I have loved for many, many years and [I] have produced different versions as a play, as a ballet and now as a combination of the two. It’s always a fun, exciting and different challenge to come up with different ways to present this timeless classic. I believed it was the perfect choice for my students here at West Valley, because it offered an opportunity for them to experience a performance of one of the classics that is… quite possibly everybody’s favorite!”
Longtime fans of the Dickens classic enjoyed watching this tale of the miserly Scrooge come to life on this stage, as Scrooge relives his childhood, first love and love lost, before realizing exactly how his greed has affected those who depend on him. He then experiences on stage his own personal awakening having seen that he could change.
For our Scrooge, played by senior Ricardo Rodriguez who has acted for West Valley for four years, the holidays mean a lot more than the earning and banking of lots of money: “To me, the holiday season means family. A family has always been one of the things that I’ve appreciated in life. It’s been one of those things that has been one of my core values and it’s been hammered into me since I was a small child. Family, to me, is one of the most important things, and I think Christmas is an excellent opportunity to appreciate that.”
True to his character, Junior Mateo Aguirre who plays Bob Cratchit loves spending the holiday with his family both at school and at home. “For me, the holiday season means coming together and being with family… Without family you don’t have anything, really.”
Our Tiny Tim, played by seven year old Andy Ballard, was just glad to make his parents proud. “My dad really wanted me to be in this play.” But despite the effort that he had to put in, Ballard says he enjoyed it, “Like, a lot.”
The Thursday night premiere saw modest attendance, thanks in no small part to the rains which fell on Mustang Canyon. But throughout the weekend, many more attended as the rains dried up.
Kehler said she’s thankful for Stacey Bailey, the WVHS Administration, the Arts Department and of course the patrons who were there to support.