The first production overseen by Whetstone High School's new drama teacher will be an updated take on a nearly 200-year-old tale.

The school's Academy of Performing Arts will perform the Ken Jones play "Scrooge's Christmas" at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the auditorium at the school, 4405 Scenic Drive.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students, free for children 5 and younger.

The hourlong adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" uses minimal props and actors in multiple roles, with scenery changes and sound effects created by the actors themselves.

"Scrooge's Christmas" marks the first production for Christopher S. Ray in his first year as Whetstone's drama teacher. He said he hopes to bring the same show back in the future.

"I wanted the community to feel like it's a traditional kind of thing," said Ray, who previously taught at West High School.

The Academy of Performing Arts production has a cast of 11, with eight working in the crew.

More than 30 students auditioned for roles, Ray said -- a number he called "crazy."

"I've had to up my game even more," he said. "I feel like it's made me take things even more seriously."

Freshman Beaux Baldwin plays Scrooge's nephew and the Ghost of Christmas Past in the play.

"He has a lot of vision," Baldwin said of the new drama instructor. "In the beginning, we just threw a lot of things at the wall. I can tell he's real passionate about what he does."

Dyna Bresson is a senior who acted in several plays when Tracy Wirthman headed the drama program.

"It's been a little challenging because you're so used to one way of doing things," said Bresson, who plays the Ghost of Christmas Present and also is part of the ensemble.

She predicted the audiences would enjoy "Scrooge's Christmas."

"I think they'll have a lot of fun," Bresson said. "There are a lot of funny moments and heartfelt moments, a whole range of emotions."

Angela Baldasare, also a senior, has the title role in the play.

"I just think Scrooge is a really interesting character," she said. "I've always been really passionate about characters in general."

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@KevinParksTW1