Bye, Bye Scrooge?


The curtain is coming down on a 35 year tradition at the Stanley Theater. the annual production of the play “Scrooge” is saying goodbye. Eyewitness news reporter Grace Fernandez spoke with the players about why in a community matters story. Grace? Various people involved in the production as well as community members tell me they’re saddened by the news, and while many people would love to save it- the players of Utica and the board ultimately made the decision due to financial reasons. “If it goes away, the tradition is gone…” Barbara Lambright has been going to see scrooge since it started 35 years ago, after she heard rumors this could be it’s last year she made the call to us. “I thought maybe if the public did know, there would be businesses willing to support scrooge especially during the Christmas season.”
For retired lawyer, Richard Enders- – it’s the highlight of the season as he gets to play scrooge every year… “To me, it’s just such a tradition that it’s a part of our community that should be here for many many years to come.” Scrooge director, Peter Loftus says it’s not a rumor. The players of Utica and the board of directors started looking at the high costs of putting on a production like scrooge. “The royalties for example have gone from like $75 a year to now $4,000 a year.”
When the show first started in 1981 it was sold as a school production, Loftus says back then it was $25 a performance, but when it was sold to Samuel French the price escalated. “I’m not saying it’s gone forever, I’m just saying that this production of it is we’re gonna take a break from it and see what happens next.” Loftus says there’s a lot of different elements that led to the decision to say goodbye to scrooge but others remain hopeful. “We would love to see scrooge go forward, and we’re offering any kind of ideas and discussions here at the Stanley to sit at a table and talk about what we can do to keep it going,” said Stanley Executive Director Jerry Kraus.
Scrooge will play at the Stanley Theater December 9th and 10th and admission tickets are being sold for 15 dollars.

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