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Pioneer Theatre Asks Audience to Take a Page From Scrooge

Pioneer Theatre Company is putting on a musical production based on Charles Dickens’ classic story, “A Christmas Carol”, but there’s a twist.  They’re asking the audience to participate. 

This will be Karen Azenberg’s first production as the new Artistic Director of Pioneer Theatre Company, and she’s trying something a little different.  Azenberg is asking people to take a lesson from Ebenezer Scrooge – the quintessential miser who learns to give after a transformative encounter with the ghosts of Christmas past, present and yet to come.

“This was the show that started the idea of charitable giving in the holiday season,” Azenberg told KUER, “There is a song in the musical called “Abundance and Charity”, and I thought as a brand new Utahn, how can we at Pioneer get involved in giving back to this wonderful, warm community, and I thought… ding, light bulb.”

The idea is to host a food drive along with the production.  And for every pound of food donated, Pioneer sponsor Wells Fargo will donate a dollar – up to 10,000 dollars to the Utah Food Bank.

Actor Jamie Jackson is originally from Australia, now lives in New York, and is visiting Utah for the first time to play Scrooge.

“Nothing means more to be as an artist than to feel like the work we do is important not just as entertainment, but actually means something.  What greater chance is there than to have the audience by the act of giving show that this message of Dickens from 1843 resonates in 2012,” said Jackson.

“A Christmas Carol: The Musical” opens on Friday, November 30th.  The Company is asking patrons to bring non-perishable food when they attend the show, or drop donations in the lobby of Simmons Pioneer Memorial Theatre any time before December 15th.

Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ
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