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<b>A CHRISTMAS CHUCKLE:</b>  In the comedic <i>The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Presents A Christmas Carol</i>, an inept theater troupe stages a disastrous rendition of the Dickens classic.

A CHRISTMAS CHUCKLE: In the comedic The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society Presents A Christmas Carol, an inept theater troupe stages a disastrous rendition of the Dickens classic.


Prism Productions Turns Dickens’s Classic on Its Head

‘The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol’


It may not be evident due to sunny skies and warm weather, but the hilariously out-of-context snowflake-themed displays on the State Street shop windows don’t lie: It’s officially holiday season in Santa Barbara. To celebrate, area groups of all performance types are prepping their winter shows. This December, amid the various Nutcracker ballets and productions of A Christmas Carol, Prism Productions presents a less traditional example of festive, seasonal theater with its upcoming comedy, The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol.

Farndale Avenue is Dickens through a slapstick lens, a farcical look at the petty tribulations of community theater productions. True to their roles as enthusiastic members of The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society, actors Miller James, Tiffany Story, and Kathy Marden take the stage at the Timbers with gusto, all juggling several roles as various Dickens characters and performing original, humorous musical numbers. The Farndale ladies (and one guy) lack the skills for a basic theatrical production but demonstrate fervent excitement and commitment to their barely recognizable version of Dickens’s classic story of redemption.

Playwrights David McGillivray and Walter Zerlin Jr. wrote a series of plays in which the theatrically inept Farndale Players attempt artistic greatness. Despite the Dramatic Guild’s continued attempts at stage glory, it turns out that theatrical production is consistently more difficult than the ladies (and one guy) think possible. The audience is treated to a chaotic, entertaining look at the potential disasters associated with the production of live theater, yet the Farndale Players are staunchly loyal to the theatrical adage of “the show must go on!” The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society performs A Christmas Carol despite technical impossibilities, casting dilemmas, leadership disputes, and an overzealous stage crew.

The last play in Prism Productions’ three-play mini season, The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Joseph Beck, is a combination holiday play and party. Opening December 3 at the Timbers, the show includes a preshow traditional holiday dinner from Georgia’s Smokehouse. The December 3 show concludes with a champagne reception. The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol brings the casual and participatory atmosphere audiences expect from Prism Productions’ shows, and the event is appropriate for all audiences.

Seeing this cast of talented comedic performers present a festive cornucopia of Christmas-themed jests is sure to be more interesting than the company holiday luncheon, so start your holiday season at the Timbers.

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The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen’s Guild Dramatic Society’s Production of A Christmas Carol runs Thursday, December 3-Sunday, December 13. For information and tickets, call the Goodland Theater box office at (805) 705-9598 or see prismproductions.org.

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