Director uses Dickens to enliven play

Augusta Players artistic director Peter Powlus is hoping to upgrade the troupe's traditional take on A Christmas Carol by making it play like the Dickens.


Mr. Powlus, who directed the production for the first time last year, said he felt there were characters and relationships in the Players' contemporary adaptation that didn't seem to have the dimension he remembered from the Christmas classic.

This year, he went back to the source, augmenting the script with passages from Charles Dickens' novel.

"It was something we did have to be careful doing," he said. "But we felt like there were things that were missing. We felt that it would both round out the characters and add some of that beautiful language."

Mr. Powlus said the characters who seemed to benefit the most from the additions were Scrooge and his deceased but surprisingly active partner, Marley (Michael Hamilton).

"There were important things in the relationship between Scrooge and Marley," Mr. Powlus said. "There were things that we felt Marley had to say, so we gave them back to him."

Mr. Hamilton, a longtime fan of Dickens, said that being offered more of his singular prose was a welcome gift. Still, it took some time wrapping his contemporary tongue around the very Victorian language.

"I have heard all this dialogue for years," he said. "But it was still important to understand and get the rhythm of the speech and, of course, the accent. Otherwise, it just doesn't sound right."

Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or


WHAT: A Christmas Carol, presented by the Augusta Players

WHEN: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday

WHERE: The Imperial Theatre, 745 Broad St.

COST: $12-$32; (706) 826-4707