LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Now in its 55th year, Actors Theatre of Louisville is serving up two separate stage productions for the holiday season. Both the annual classic A Christmas Carol and modern hit The Santaland Diaries are returning, running through December 23.

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For more than 40 years Actor’s Theatre has put on the stage adaptation of A Christmas Carol, making it the second-longest continuously running production of the Dickens classic in the country. This year will be no different, with Director Drew Fracher returning for his seventh season and John G. Preston reprising his role as Christmas curmudgeon Ebenezer Scrooge. Making their Actors Theatre debuts are Peter Hargrave as Fred, Darren Matthias as Marley, Lexi Rabadi as Belle and Robert Ramirez as Fezziwig and the Ghost of Christmas Present.

Joining them on stage are 11 members of the Actors Theatre Professional Training Company—one of the nation’s oldest pre-professional training programs for theatre—as well as 10 young actors from the Louisville community.

While A Christmas Carol is a timeless tradition in Louisville, Actors Theatre has sought to grow and change the production over the years. “Our production features aerial acrobatics, several musicians, a several-stories-tall ghost, carolers singing in harmony together and snow falling unto the stage. We do everything we can to bring this story to life in the most magical way possible.”

Actors Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol runs through December 23 at Pamela Brown Auditorium, 316 West Main Street in Downtown Louisville. Tickets begin at $25 and can be purchased by phone at (502) 584-1205 or online at actorstheatre.org. Special ticket rates for groups of 10 or more are available by calling (502) 585-1210.

Audience Advisory: Fog and flashing lights. No strobe lights are used.

Age Recommendations: Grades 1+, Ages 5+

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For those who identify more with Scrooge than Fezziwig, Actors Theatre is also offering The Santaland Diaries, noted humorist David Sedaris’s irreverent take on the inner machinations of department store Santas and their elves. Sedaris, known for his contributions to NPR’s This American Life as well as The New Yorker and Esquire, drew upon his real-life experiences as a Macy’s Elf in New York City while writing his diaries, which were adapted for the stage by Tony Award-winner Joe Mantello. Actors Theatre Associate Artistic Director Meredith McDonough brings it to life this month at the Victor Jory Theatre in Downtown Louisville.

The one-man show is helmed this year by Bear Brummel, himself an alumnus of the Actors Theatre Professional Training Company, with Mark Mozingo making his Actors Theatre debut as his understudy. Actors Theatre says their version of The Santaland Diaries is particularly interactive, and that “both actors who portray [main character Crumpet the Elf] engage directly with audience members making each performance of this show a unique experience."

Actors Theatre’s production of The Santaland Diaries runs through December 23 at the Victor Jory Theatre, 316 West Main Street in Downtown Louisville. Tickets begin at $45 and can be purchased by phone at (502) 585-1210 or online at actorstheatre.org.

Audience Advisory: Contains some strong language and strobe lighting. Not intended for young audiences.

Age Recommendation: 13+