The Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church found a way to present Charles Dickens' classic with a contemporary twist.
“A Christmas Carol Urbanized” drew a full house to the church’s east campus at 2800 W. Cheltenham Ave. last Thursday. It was presented by the congregation’s Integrated Arts & Music Ministry (IAMM).
“This is really so nice,” said Denise Williams of Mount Airy, who brought along her 8-year-old granddaughter Jada to the holiday performance. “This is a way for parents and other family members to get away from the hustle and bustle of shopping and decorating for something positive. I think it brings home the understanding that Christmas is really about the Lord.”
Robert Beale of Wyncote concurred. He has been a member of Enon for the past nine years. He said the play was not only well-executed and entertaining, but also emphasized the reason for the season.
“I found it to be very touching,” he said. “It just reminded all of us that God has a hand in our lives and there is a reason never to give up. In these hard times sometimes people can get cold-hearted or want to turn away from God, but this play showed us all the reasons we need to come back home.”
Clifford K. Flood had the crowd engaged in emotional outbursts during his performance of Ebenezer “Rock” Scrooge.
The 21st Century Scrooge was transformed into the owner of Columbus Boulevard Records. He drew spontaneous laughter as he reiterated that he was the “golden glove boxing champion of 1988” and felt smug about giving his employees a $5 holiday bonus.
Among the contemporary issues brought up in the play were Scrooge’s nephew Thomas’ dilemma when his health insurance was discontinued just as one of his four daughters needed an operation. Thomas also was faced with paying back half his wages to his uncle in repayment for his college education. In addition, his base salary did not reflect the fact that he had an undergraduate career and a professional job.
Jason Bell did an energized performance of the son of Scrooge’s only daughter. Other actors in the play included Steffany Hendon, Yolanda Williams, Camari Fitzgerald, Arthur Poole, Amina Lecato, Amiya Fitzgerald, Iyani Midgette, Randy and Angie Goode, and Yvesmark Chery.
“A Christmas Carol Urbanized” was written and directed by Chanta N. Barrett. Errica Gardner served as assistant director.
Production assistants included Sheena Banks, Damien Brown and Olivia Jackson. IAMM seeks to pursue ministry through the arts.