Merced County Times Newspaper
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Playhouse Merced enjoys a wonderful ‘Christmas Carol’

Lee Stetson (Farley Nesmith), who played the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in Playhouse Merced’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol:  A Live Radio Play,’ has toured the nation with productions he has written and produced on the lives of famous characters in history such as John Muir.  Since 1983, many of these productions have been performed to crowds in Yosemite National Park.
Lee Stetson (Farley Nesmith), who played the part of Ebenezer Scrooge in Playhouse Merced’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol:  A Live Radio Play,’ has toured the nation with productions he has written and produced on the lives of famous characters in history such as John Muir.  Since 1983, many of these productions have been performed to crowds in Yosemite National Park.

Based on the success of the radio show format of “It’s A Wonderful Life” performed last year, Playhouse Merced decided to do another live radio play, this time presenting an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” in December at the theater.

Dickens’ timeless story of the transformation and redemption of Ebenezer Scrooge worked well with local writer Marc Medefind’s script writing, direction, and acting in the role of Narrator.

Cast members from “It’s A Wonderful Life,” such as Marit Medefind, Phil Buckle, and Jenell and Rich Barnes, returned to the stage for the 1940s radio show.

The play started as the announcer explained the program was being broadcast from WXMS in New York City!

1873 London came to life as the chain of events began at Scrooge’s counting house where he learned of the fate of his deceased business partner, Bob Marley, who was now a tormented soul.  Scrooge was warned of a similar fate if he did not change his mean and greedy ways.

Scrooge refused to participate in the celebration of Christmas at the home of Fred, his nephew, and was stingy with his loyal employee, Bob Cratchit, whose young son, Tiny Tim, was going to die.

Scrooge was haunted by the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, which caused him to understand the error of his ways.  He was able to change his fate and because he was given a second chance, happily became a kindly and generous old man.

Medefind told the Times after the show, “I just love Charles Dickens, and I love ‘A Christmas Carol’.  I’ve seen every version, and I like the classic the best.”

Medefind explained, “The lesson we learn is that it’s never too late for redemption or to understand that it’s our responsibility to care for those less fortunate.”

He told the Times, “Corey Strauss asked me to write the adaptation, and he asked me if I would be the director and be in it.

“There’s such a great cast!  Lee Stetson, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, is an international film and TV actor who lives in Midpines.”

During the show, comic relief came in the form of hilarious radio commercials where the cast sang about Picky Pick Wooden Toothpicks!

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