Press Release | Charles Dickens’ classic at Walton Arts Center for the holidays

For Immediate Release

Charles Dickens’ classic at Walton Arts Center for the holidays

Northwest Arkansas (November 22, 2010) – Ring in the holiday season with the University Theatre’s production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, directed by Amy Herzberg. This one-of-a-kind University Theatre production is a modern re-telling that puts a high-tech spin on the oft-told tale. Co-produced by the Walton Arts Center, there will be three public performances in Baum Walker Hall on Friday, December 3 at 7pm and Saturday, December 4 at 2pm and 7pm. Student tickets are $10 and all other tickets range from $15 to $23 and can be purchased by calling the Walton Arts Center Box Office at 479.443.5600 or by visiting

In this non-traditional retelling, audiences can rediscover their Christmas spirit as the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future guide the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge on a classic journey of memory and redemption. Come along for the ride as the meanest man in Victorian London learns the power of sacrifice, forgiveness and love on the road to a joyous finale!

Drew Johnson, 3rd year MFA actor, plays the lead role of Ebeneezer Scrooge. Johnson is a native of Alabaster, AL and has had roles in numerous University Theater productions including Danforth in The Crucible and Trigorin in The Seagull. He has also played Dwight and Gordon in Dead Man’s Cell Phone for Studio 404.

Jared Hanlin, a 2nd year MFA actor from Crestwood, KY, plays the role of author and narrator Charles Dickens. His roles for University Theatre have included Vadius in The Learned Ladies and Rev. Hale in The Crucible, as well as George in The Actor’s Nightmare for Studio 404.

Maury Reed, another 2nd year MFA actor, plays the role of Bob Cratchit. Reed, of Easley, SC, has had many notable roles in University Theater productions including Chrysale in The Learned Ladies, the title role in Hamlet and Tom Cass in Heaven Sent.

Mason Azbill, Bentonville native and freshman drama major plays the role of Jacob Marley. His previous roles include Orpheus in Eurydice and Bud Frump in How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.

The remaining cast includes Laura Harrell (Mrs. Cratchit/Ensemble), Bob Hart (Ghost of Christmas Present/Ensemble), Brandi Hoofnagle (Martha Cratchit/Ensemble), Drew Johnson (Ebeneezer Scrooge), Halley Mayo (Ghost of Christmas Past/Ensemble), Jack Oakhill (Tiny Tim/Ensemble), Jordan Scott (Belle/Ensemble), Justin Walker (Fred/Ensemble) and Shannon Leigh Webber (Fan/Ensemble).

University Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol is part of the Pepperidge Farm® Family Fun series and is sponsored by Smucker’s®. Media support is provided by NWA Media. For more information about this performance or others, contact the Walton Arts Center Box Office by calling 479.443.5600 or by visiting

Walton Arts Center is Arkansas’ premier center for the performing arts and entertainment. Each year more than 140,000 people from Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas and Oklahoma and beyond attend over 350 public events at Walton Arts Center, including performances, rehearsals, community gatherings, receptions, graduations and more. Approximately 20,000 students and teachers from 30 school districts participate annually in arts learning programs at Walton Arts Center, and over 300 volunteers donate more than 15,000 hours of time each year to its operations. Walton Arts Center presents entertainers and artists from around the world including Broadway musicals, renowned dance companies, international artists, up-and-coming jazz musicians and more. As a non-profit organization, Walton Arts Center enjoys the generous support of public sector funding, corporate sponsorship and private donors, allowing audience members to pay on average only 50% of the cost of programs offered. To learn more about Walton Arts Center, visit