By Katherine Rose Watson | Contributor
North Texas Performing Arts presents its 13th annual production of Scrooge, the Musical featuring its largest cast ever with over 130 adult and youth actors in this holiday favorite that has captivated some 20,000 audience members.
Scrooge will be directed for the 6th time by NTPA Vice President and eight-year Scrooge Veteran Mike Mazur, who received his BFA from Bowling Green and a Master in Fine Arts from the prestigious New York University’s (NYU) Tisch School of the Arts. Mike has directed over 100 shows on both coasts and Texas, and has performed off-Broadway, in Hollywood, London, Warsaw, and Paris.
“Most rewarding to me is when audience members tell us that they come back to see Scrooge year-after-year to get them into the Christmas Spirit,” says Mazur. “Each year we keep the show new, fresh, bigger and better than the year before.”
The 2023 cast features its largest cast ever with over 130 adult and youth actors in this holiday favorite.
The cast features Plano resident Darrell Rodenbaugh in a reprise in his 13th year and 112th appearance as North Texas’s Scrooge. “It is such an honor to come back to this role with this amazing cast. I am energized by Scrooge’s very special message of rebirth and redemption and the powerful message it shares,” explains Rodenbaugh. “Scrooge teaches us that we have the opportunity to start our lives all over again and change for the better, and gives us our second greatest Christmas story.”
The cast also includes Plano City Councilman Shelby Williams and 2022 “Best of Broadway Supporting Actor of the Year” Tom Walsh. Local talent Sawyer Bell returns to the cast this year playing the role of “Young Scrooge.” He originally portrayed “Tiny Tim” in this same series a decade ago! Scrooge continues to be a family tradition for Plano, and this year half of the cast are performing alongside other members of their family. The diverse cast includes four young Tiny Tim actors, four representatives from NTPA’s Starcatchers troupe for actors with disabilities, and NTPA Deaf Theatre star and Plano community leader Meryl Evans. The cast also includes two Plano Chamber of Commerce Athena Award recipients, Sara Akers and Suzie Jones. Over two-thirds of this year’s cast are prior NTPA “Scroogers.”
This year NTPA will be offering two “Gift to the Community” performances, providing tickets for those two shows as a free “Christmas Gift” to veterans and underprivileged families. Audience members will participate in pre-show carols, a special visit from Santa Claus, free snacks during intermission, and a post-show gift bag. NTPA is also a host-site for the Marine’s “Toys for Tots” program. Those interested in sponsoring this invitation-only event or applying for participation or wanting to support this program should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This North Texas Christmas tradition has been critically acclaimed and described by DFW media sources as “brilliant … robust and passionate.” The show continues to gain each year in its following with many patrons making it a “Christmas Tradition” and playing to sell-out crowds.
Scrooge, the Musical is a show by award-winning songwriter, Leslie Bricusse, creator of the musical versions of “Jekyll & Hyde” and “Willie Wonka”. Receiving four Academy Award nominations and five Golden Globe nominations in its movie version, Scrooge closely follows the plot of Charles Dickens’ acclaimed book, A Christmas Carol. The show regularly tops regional “must-see” event lists for the Christmas Season. Scrooge, the Musical is sponsored in part by the City of Plano.
“Scrooge teaches us that we have the opportunity to start our lives all over again and change for the better, and gives us our second greatest Christmas story.”
NTPA’s Scrooge will offer 12 performances between December 6-17, with two “Gift to the Community” performances December 6 and 13 with the first weekend at the historic Plano Courtyard Theatre and the closing weekend at the Willow Bend Center of the Arts in The Shops at Willow Bend Mall.
At the Courtyard Theatre:
Wednesday, December 6, 7:15 – GIFT TO THE COMMUNITY
Thursday, December 7, 7:15pm
Friday, December 8, 7:15pm
Saturday, December 9 2:15 and 7:15pm
Sunday, December 10 2:30pm
At the Rodenbaugh Theatre:
Wednesday, December 13, 7:15 – GIFT TO THE COMMUNITY
Thursday, December 14, 7:15pm
Friday, December 15, 7:15 pm
Saturday, December 16, 2:15 and 7:15pm
Sunday, December 17, 2:15pm
For more information and showtimes go to ntpa.org/event/scrooge/.
About Charles Dickens: Scrooge, the Musical is based on the Charles Dickens timeless story of A Christmas Carol. Born in 1812 in London, Charles Dicken’s often drew upon his own life for the grist of his novels. In 1822, Dicken’s father was imprisoned because of his debt. Dicken’s mother pulled Dickens from school and sent him to work at the age of ten in a Blacking Factory which made shoe polish. Eventually, Dickens returned to school and began his career working for a firm of solicitors. Dickens was known to be skilled mimic and gregarious personality. He started writing as a freelance reporter for law cases and then published his first short story in 1833, His national reputation grew when he published his Pickwick Papers, then Oliver Twist, and Nicolas Nickleby. A Christmas Carol, the story that inspired Scrooge, the Musical, was written in 1843.
About North Texas Performing Arts
North Texas Performing Arts (NTPA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit dedicated to developing the character of youth through quality performing arts education and family entertainment. NTPA evolved from Plano Children’s Theatre founded three decades ago and is now the largest youth theatre organization in the country. NTPA is headquartered at Willow Bend Center of the Arts in Plano and has additional performance and educational spaces in Fairview, Frisco, and Dallas. Each year NTPA provides opportunities to more than 11,000 students ages three to 18 through its “Ten Characters” leadership development program. NTPA’s professional artistic staff uses theatre, dance, music, voice, film and TV to ignite a lifelong passion for the performing arts and guide young people on a path to becoming better citizens in our community and our world.