“(Not) A Christmas Carol,” modern adaptation of Dickens classic, today and Saturday at Contra Costa College

Prolific East Bay playwright Kathryn McCarty is at it again with “(Not) A Christmas Carol,” a modern adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, on stage at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 at the Knox Center for the Performing Arts at Contra Costa College in San Pablo.
Read about it in the official news release:

Ring in the Yuletide spirit with Contra Costa College Drama Department’s production of “(Not) A Christmas Carol,” a modern adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic. Written and directed by drama professor Kathryn G. McCarty. Running December 5-8 at CCC’s John and Jean Knox Performing Arts Center on the San Pablo campus.
McCarty, who has taught at the college for over a decade, is a prolific playwright. Her most recent noted works have included “RIVETS!,” which enjoyed several runs aboard the SS Red Oak Victory in the Rosie the Riveter National Park in Richmond, and “The Ladies Quintet,” which played in Chicago and Los Angeles theaters.
McCarty sees “(Not) A Christmas Carol” as unlike most other theatrical adaptations of the holiday favorite. “I’ve integrated a lot of comedy in modernizing the story,” she said. Adapting the classic was no easy task said McCarty, explaining that she wanted to create a comedy that was easily accessible to audiences, and that still held true to the story and meaning of what Dickens wrote.
“I kept wondering, how would Dickens incorporate world events if he were writing his story in 2012?”
According to McCarty, in 1843, the year Dickens penned the classic, many holiday traditions were established. “In that same year, the Christmas card was invented and England’s royals introduced the Christmas tree to holiday events,” she said.
The show’s main character, Ebeneezer Scrooge (played by Mark Hinds), is the leader of the world’s first “Oil and Bank Consortium.” Hinds is a guest artist at CCC, having recently graduated from UC Berkeley. McCarty pointed out that she has worked with Mark on several projects, and “so respects him for following his dream of earning his degree. After his five children graduated from college, he decided it was time to complete his education, which had been interrupted by the Vietnam War. I think he is an incredible role model for all college students.”
“No other author has more of an influence than Charles Dickens on how we celebrate Christmas,” said McCarty. “He used the holiday to examine society as a whole. The amazing thing is that we are still battling the issues of poverty and greed that Dickens wrote about nearly 200 years ago.”

Tickets at the door are $15 general, $10 students and seniors, free for children under 8.

Chris Treadway