Holiday traditions of the CSRA? Among the many parades and tree lightings sits “A Christmas Carol, the Musical,” performed annually by the Augusta Players.
Performing two shows over the course of a single weekend, the Augusta Players lead members of the audience through the transformation of Ebenezer Scrooge — a miser who endures life in Victorian England, but does not love it or live it.
As a creative addition to the usual format, the Augusta Players have created a complementary evening of celebration in support of the musical. Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball takes place this Saturday, December 5, at the Augusta Museum of History. The ball promises to take us back to the Regency period when Scrooge — as a young man — worked for the jolly Mr. Fezziwig, and attended his Christmas ball.
“As far as we know, this is the first and only ball of its kind in the Augusta area,” said Debi Ballas, creative and executive director of the Augusta Players. “The idea for this novel event was envisioned by one of the board members for the Augusta Players, Dr. Karla Leeper. She is the current chair of the fund development committee and was considering options for a signature fundraiser for the Players. The inspiration for this event came to her while watching last season’s production of ‘A Christmas Carol, the Musical.’ In the middle of the Fezziwig scene she had an epiphany, turned to her husband and said, ‘Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball!’ She presented the idea to the board and of course, we all thought it was brilliant!”
Multiple elements combine to create an entire interactive evening of live entertainment. Ballas explained that the event will be hosted by Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig and an array of characters, as well as Scrooge in his nightclothes and his date, the Ghost of Christmas Past. During the ball, old Scrooge reflects on the joyful young Ebenezer and his fiancée, Emily.
“It is our goal to create a time warp back to the 19th century Regency period allowing guests to experience a full evening of entertainment immersed in the era of the Dickens classic novel,” Ballas said. “The evening will provide live music with period dancing and instruction for those needing help. We will also have refreshments to include savory and sweet treats, libations and last but not least some exciting items for a silent auction.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Fezziwig, along with the cast members of the Augusta Players upcoming production of ‘A Christmas Carol, the Musical’ will recreate the Fezziwig scene from ‘A Christmas Carol, the Musical.’ It will include two musical numbers, ‘Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball’ and ‘A Place Called Home,’” Ballas said. “In keeping with the true spirit of the evening, the Fezziwigs, Scrooge, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Young Scrooge, and all the cast members will remain in character while mingling with guests for the duration of the event.”
Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball takes place in the rotunda of the Augusta Museum of History, which is in itself an inimitable space. Often used for events such as weddings, the rotunda is well-suited to A Christmas Carol in terms of architecture and décor.
“We chose the rotunda of the Augusta Museum of History because we felt the grand elegance of the venue would add to the ambience of our Fezziwig Ball,” said Ballas. “We were further pleased to learn as an added bonus; this Christmas season, the holiday décor of the rotunda will resemble a Dickens village. We are thrilled to premiere Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball there and believe it is a perfect fit for this unique and exciting event. It will be a fun-filled evening of holiday merriment. Period attire will be admired but not required; hence, there is no excuse not to attend.”
Mr. Fezziwig’s Annual Christmas Ball
Augusta Museum of History Rotunda
Saturday, December 5