Staged Reading of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to Ring in Holiday Season



Nov. 30, 2010 – A staged reading of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus.

This production will be both performed and directed by Dr. Robert Dillon Jr., professor of theatre and dance. Donned in Victorian-style costume, Dillon will give a solo staged reading of this classic. The reading is a cut from the complete book — a version condensed in four staves by Dickens himself.

Ebenezer Scrooge is the main character in Dickens’ 1843 novel “A Christmas Carol.”  In the beginning of the novel, Scrooge is a miser who despises Christmas. Eventually, he is redeemed by visits from three ghosts of Christmas – the Ghost of Christmas Past, the Ghost of Christmas Present and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. “A Christmas Carol” details Scrooge’s transformation and is a holiday story steeped in tradition.

“I’ve wanted to share these characters and this story in a live performance for a long time,” Dillon said. “I am thrilled and terrified to finally be doing it. What I am doing is a staged reading–lots of different characters in a simple staging without lots of theatrical bells or whistles. 

“This is a solo performance of the text as adapted first by Charles Dickens himself for his staged readings, the one-man-show adaptation of Patrick Stewart, and my adaptation–these are all Dickens’ own words the text is simplified and cut to fit into a two hour performance.  I don’t want to read anyone to death.  I want the audience and me to share some emotions for a couple of hours . . . also I really feel the need to contribute something real.”

Dillon says this event is a benefit for the Department of Theatre and Dance. 

“I want to give something,” he said. “I get to have it both ways – sharing something fun and even beautiful, and I get to be the center . . . well the characters and the narrative are the center.”

Rhodes 101 Stops is the sponsor of this year’s Theatre and Dance Series.


Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at, keyword “Christmas,” or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.