KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — It's a holiday tradition for many families. "A Christmas Carol" is almost back at the Clarence Brown Theatre.
While the show is a staple during the holiday season, there's no guarantee you will ever see the same show twice. Every season, the director, cast and crew change up the production to make it new, interesting and memorable.
This year, director Amelia Peterson is implementing more movement and projections into the performance.
"If we can honor the tradition, while also opening up our imagination to play and take risks and do things that people might not expect, then we end up finding some really fun things to work with, and we still hit that spot of truth," Peterson said.
The script is a storytelling adaptation from the show's director last year.
"It was the first thing back last year after COVID, so this year, we are using the same script but we're adding lots of magic to the storytelling," Peterson said.
This is Peterson's directing debut at the CBT. She is a Bearden High School alumnus, but spent some time in Texas, Washington D.C. and New York City before she and her husband moved back to Knoxville.
"It still feels like home in many ways," Peterson said. "It feels really sweet to get to come back and make that happen here.”
For the first time, there is also a team of understudies prepared to fill in if needed.
"They have really been the heroes of this entire process," Peterson said.
Also in the show is a hometown guy, who has always dreamed of being in this exact production.
"I think my younger self would be over the moon to hear that I would get to be here today," said Joseph Coram, a University of Tennessee sophomore.
Coram and his family sat in the audience to watch "A Christmas Carol" at the CBT for a decade as part of their holiday traditions. Now, he's switching his seat for the spotlight. Coram is playing Fred, who is Scrooge's nephew.
"Every year that I've seen it, I've been like, 'I want to be up there. I want to be doing it with them. I want to experience that,' and now I get to,” Coram said.
Coram's mom loves the show already, but will no doubt enjoy it even more watching her son play a part in the magic.
“I am very nervous about it," Coram said. "I want to make sure that everything is just perfect for her and that it's the experience that she has always wanted.”
The costume shop is still hard at work putting the finishing touches on the wardrobe. They are the crew holding everything together.
"We give the actors the context for the characters they're playing, and we tell you who they are and what their place is in the world of Christmas Carol," Costume Shop Manager Melissa Caldwell-Weddig said.
Caldwell-Weddig takes pride in mending the tradition from year to year. This is her 14th Christmas Carol production. She and her team are always bringing in tasteful touches.
"This year, there's going to be more movement and dancing," Caldwell-Weddig said. "We're bringing a lot more sort of dynamic things, especially to the ghost action."
One costume is the Ghost of Christmas Present. They call the actress playing that role this year "The Glamorous Ghost," because of the fur and patterned fabric.
It's a character Coram would love to play one day.
"Really, I just want to take a handful of glitter and throw it in Scrooge's face," Coram laughed.
The show will start on November 23 with preview performances. The official opening date is November 25. It will run until December 18th.
You can buy tickets by clicking here.