Banish the bah-humbugs with an ArtPlay Christmas show for families

Summon the spirit of Christmas when ArtPlay presents a holiday show perfect for families: “A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol.”

Delight in the Christmas spirit when Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center’sArtPlay presents “A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol,” with two shows Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012.

Join the Cratchets, Tiny Tim, all of the Christmas Spirits and Ebenezer Scrooge in an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous tale. The play is adapted and directed by ArtPlay Teaching Artist Jerry Sims, whose popular original productions include “Down the Yellow Brick Road,” “Yuletide in Dogtown,” “So You Want to Be a Star,” “Christmas Comes to Mugwumpville” and “The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.” Audiences were delighted to see this ASC original theatrical production debut in 2008 and return in 2010; now the ASC and ArtPlay present it again to help celebrate the true meaning of the holidays.

Shows will take place at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Dec. 15, in UAB’s Alys Stephens Center, 1200 10th Ave. South. Patrons can enjoy holiday craft-making and photos with Santa one hour before the morning performance; the Birmingham Girls Choir will perform carols before the evening show. Enjoy hot cocoa and cookies before both performances. This year’s production has been moved to the larger Sirote Theatre, which means that the “Vest Pocket” has a bit more room to celebrate this classic yuletide story. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for children. Call 205-975-2787 or visit


This performance will be presented in much the same fashion as Dickens’ own touring performances in the United States in 1860. The audience is invited to follow the journey of Scrooge as he is confronted with eternal regret and redemption. All of the favorite characters from the timeless classic are included, as a small crew of talented actors portrays dozens of characters, and Dickens himself. “A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol” stars Sims as Scrooge, along with local performers Ron Bourdages, Darrell Revel, Jessica Holdnak, Holly Croney Dikeman, Shawn Reese and Edward Gurney.

ArtPlay will present “A Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol” to hundreds of area schoolchildren through its Meet the Artist school shows at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Dec. 13-14.

Shows especially for children and families are presented as part of ArtPlay, the Alys Stephens Center’s education and outreach initiative. ArtPlay’s mission is to educate, inspire and nurture creative growth and self-expression for everyone. ArtPlay will present a full roster of fun arts education classes for all ages with a new session beginning Jan. 1, 2013. Registration is open now. Call 205-975-4769 or visit ArtPlay online at