By Philip Muehe

It’s hard to believe, but our 2019 Season is almost over! From a twisting mystery, to tropical islands, to a small church on Christmas Eve, this season truly has had something for everyone. Thank you all so much for being a part of it!

As we now look to the future, we are incredibly excited about our 2020 Season! Our 32nd Season is equally exciting and will offer just as many unique and moving experiences for our patrons. Over the next few entries of this blog, we will hear from people who are passionate about each show, and what they look forward to it brining our patrons.

Philip and Adrienne prepare for her role as Scrooge
Director Philip Muehe, and Scrooge herself Adrienne Sweeney practice their best “Bah, Humbug!”

While right now our stage is filled with toe-tapping bluegrass music provided by a triple-threat cast in Sanders Family Christmas, next season we will journey across the pond to Victorian London. This time next year, we will have opened our version of Charles Dickens’s classic A Christmas Carol. I will be fortunate enough to direct this incredible piece. It’s my favorite Christmas story – and I couldn’t be more excited!

While our unique adaptation has been done here before, next season will provide an entirely different experience. Associate Artistic Director Adrienne Sweeney will sit behind the miser’s desk. That’s right, a female scrooge! And not a “pants role” (A woman playing a man), Scrooge will be entirely female. Adrienne has been introducing us to so many wonderful people through her nuanced, focused, and powerful performances. I’ve admired her work since I first saw it when I was in high school, and since then we’ve become co-workers and good friends. So getting to share this journey with her is another huge plus!

Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge photo by Karen Almond
Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge (Photo By Karen Almond)

Why would the Commonweal want to do this? Why Not?! The lessons of A Christmas Carol, don’t just apply to men. It is a universal story for all humanity. So it would make sense, that in turn, we would feature a woman to help communicate its themes. Both Adrienne and I were inspired by Dallas Theatre Center’s recent production, featuring Sally Nystuen Vahle as Scrooge. The production was a huge success, and audiences were moved. That’s the thing about A Christmas Carol – we’ve all seen it, or have had some experience with it. However, by providing a new angle, you will see the piece in a whole new way, and hopefully get something new out of the familiar.

I am so excited for you to see this adaptation, and I hope you’re excited too. Keep an eye out for more information on A Christmas Carol, and the rest of the shows in our 2020 lineup. But before that, be sure to catch Sanders Family Christmas, now playing until December 22nd! We’ll see you at the Commonweal!

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