Rosebud Theatre’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Bah Humbug. Like everyone else, I’ve been feeling out of sorts, isolated and apprehensive. So much of what we used to take for granted is now altered, canceled, restricted or deemed unsafe. But Rosebud Theatre, I learned was going ahead with their annual holiday production.

Scrooge A Christmas Carol
Some holiday traditions can still be achieved!

When I heard that after seven months of being closed (due to Covid-19) this theatre was re-opening with A Christmas Carol, my heart longed to attend. My rational self, however, was hesitant with the implications of being in an indoor public space.

I read that the theatre and dining room would be modified to accommodate only 62 people instead of their usual 230 people. This gave me comfort knowing they were taking precautions to keep me safe if I attended. 

Road tripping to Rosebud

So, on a cool Friday night, I found a Covid-friendly pair of dressy stretch pants, put on mascara for the first time in months and found the prettiest mask I owned.  My husband and I jumped in the car, thankful to be released from the confines of our home and office. 

Leaving the city, the open fields were settled against an awesome Alberta sunset with slivers of blue, yellow and orange offering a sense of normalcy and comfort. I felt some of my apprehension dissipate as we drove into the calm darkness and into the quaint town of Rosebud, just an hour and 15 minutes east of Calgary. 

We made our way to the center of town, where a picturesque building festooned with white lights began to pull us into the Christmas spirit. Warm wreaths hung in the windows and an inviting doorway led us into an open space of welcoming smiles behind masks and plexiglass. 

Rosebud Theatre dining

Previously, the Rosebud dining room offered a massive buffet. Due to Covid-19, however, they now offer a 4-course dinner. One of my favourite meals in the world is turkey dinner with all the trimmings. In fact, when my husband proposed, he did so over a turkey dinner knowing it led to the key to my heart. So although I’m not a food connoisseur, I am an expert when it comes to turkey dinners.

Rosebud seriously knocked it out of the park; the turkey dinner was amazing! We enjoyed a beautiful butternut squash soup, fresh salad with candied walnuts and the option to indulge in two desserts to wrap up an incredible meal. We agreed the sticky toffee pudding was a truly heavenly experience! I’m so glad I wore my stretchy pants!

A safe feeling of comfort and joy

As we made our way to the theatre, we stopped by the gift shop which was resplendently decked out for Christmas. This cheerful little shop offered beautiful Christmas decorations, unique gifts, plus festive treats and trinkets. I treated myself to a new latte cup to enjoy my coffee during upcoming snowy mornings and surprisingly, bought my first Christmas gift…in November!

holiday mask
But what did Nancy pick out? That is the question…

We crossed the deserted street to the theatre. With such a small audience, it felt like we had this town and theatre to ourselves.  We were greeted by masked ushers who guided us to our seats. Every second row was closed off with clear markings to ensure patrons and their cohorts sat six feet apart. 

Aisles were clearly marked, restricting the flow of people to one direction when entering and leaving the theatre, and we were encouraged to not mingle in the lobby.  Much thought and consideration had been given in support of keeping us all safe.

COVID theatre seats
Theatre-goers are spaced apart, just like in a movie theatre.

A Christmas Carol at Rosebud Theatre

Morris Ertman, Director and Artistic Director of A Christmas Carol opened the play with a few words.  This introduction was unique as Morris Ertman stood in front of this friendly audience and genuinely thanked the community of artists, the Pacific Theatre, patrons, staff, their COVID team and the Board of Governors for pulling together to raise the curtain to live theatre during a pandemic. Everyone in the theatre could appreciate the lengths it took to assemble this production and I, for one, felt honoured to be a part of it. 

Most people know Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol, and know of the characters such as Scrooge, Tiny Tim and the ghosts. But in these unprecedented times, the play had been adapted by Ron Reed into a one-man show. Admittedly, I was somewhat skeptical when I heard that one person was going to be on stage for 90 minutes all alone. 

Rosebud theatre christmas production
This one-man show will keep you thoroughly entertained.

The lights dimmed and a single candle was lit on stage.  From that moment, I was captivated as actor Nathan Schmidt vividly told the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, an elderly miser who was visited by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. After their visits, Scrooge is transformed into a kinder, gentler man. 

I found myself enthralled by this talented actor as he led us from person to spirit, from past to future, from sadness to hopefulness. The ingenious artists that brought this story to life through narration, music, lighting and set design created a show that felt like there was a cast of 20. 

After visiting Rosebud and being captivated by the town, its people and this rendition of A Christmas Carol, I felt transformed. I feel more grounded, hopeful and optimistic about Christmas 2020. Like Scrooge, I feel a renewed energy to embrace family, friends and people who may be feeling lonely and distanced this holiday season.

And like the Rosebud Theatre community, I’m inspired to continue to pursue my passions within this new normal and in the end, hopefully create something more incredible than I could imagine just as they did in staging this play.  Have a Scrooge-like Christmas!

A Christmas Carol set design
You could win 2 tickets to see Rosebud Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol!

Tickets for A Christmas Carol

For a spectacular day in the country and outstanding dinner theatre, A Christmas Carol is playing until December 23, 2020.  Rosebud Theatre tickets are $85 for adults, $63 for youth and include a delicious 4-course dinner before the show. 

Rosebud is located on Highway 840, approximately 100 km northeast of Calgary and 35 km southwest of Drumheller. Check their website here for tickets, show times, directions and upcoming shows.

For those who are unable to attend the production, Rosebud has recorded the show and is offering it online on their website from November 13 – December 31, filmed by Joel Goundry, Eric Pauls and Michael Janke. 

Guest post by Nancy Cherniwchan

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About The Author

45 thoughts on “Rosebud Theatre’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens”

  1. Marlaine Diggens

    I am making rice Kristie squares with my kids today after school to honor my grandmas memory. Every year she would bring our presents and a bag of rice Krispy balls to the kids. I miss her so much

    1. Sylvia Stroeve

      Carolling! We are going with a few new friends and hopefully helping them to start a new tradition. Love seeing the peoples faces as we are able to bless them and hopefully give some positive cheer!

    1. Valerie Barclay

      We will still cook a turkey with all the stuffing gravy and mashed potatoes for our close family

  2. Our holiday baking will still continue. We will take extra care when delivering food

  3. Kari Eliuk

    Presents! There will be some changes this year, so there was no way I was going to budge on buying gifts for people I love!

  4. I accidentally hit send before finishing my comment ????
    I’ll still be going to heritage park Christmas days this year

  5. Making homemade chocolates! My gram always made them (her maraschino cherry chocolates were so good!), my Mum still makes them and I cannot wait to continue the tradition.

  6. Susan Woodford

    Put up the tree early as always ! Baking, and cooking Turkey dinner for Christmas Day ❤️

  7. Linda Slomp

    While it might not be Christmas day, I am hoping to cook dinner for those in my circles who have no other family around. And on Christmas I pray that we can still go to church and worship Christ’s birthday and then spend the day with what family can be here.

  8. Kirsten Reger

    This year our youngest son moved out, but all the kids decided to come back to sleep under the tree one last time. Also we are doing Nikolaus on December 6, a german tradition that I have been doing since I can remember. You are putting out a Boot and depending on how good you were over the year you get chokolades or little presents. Since nobody is at home anymore, I will be dropping of a stocking with goodies.

  9. Charlene Foster

    I’ll be finding ornaments to give to our kids that will be a fitting reminder of the year that has just finished.

  10. Mary Ohlheiser

    All the usual traditions will be done. From my mom’s Christmas cake, my sisters rum balls, nuts and bolts, all the Christmas tradition cookies and of course spiked egg nog.

  11. We will still be making family turkey dinner. Instead of having the family over for dinner, we will be distributing dinners to family members

  12. Although the family will be apart, we will all be watching The Polar Express on Christmas Eve with some hot chocolate. It’s a tradition we’ve had since the movie came out, and we’re going to connect via messenger during the movie and FaceTime once it’s done to talk about what Christmas means to us.

  13. Dianne Brisbois

    So pleased to know RB is still doing special plays. . Merry Christmas to each and everyone. Stay safe . Our Christmas decorations will have a few extra sparkling items to bring an extra smile to all who can see them.

  14. Valdene Callin

    My husband will be making his mom’s cabbage rolls and my mom’s coleslaw in that they have both passed but their recipes and love will least forever.

  15. Seafood Fondue on Christmas morning. We’ve been doing this for the last 40 years or more.

  16. Kim Harder

    I would live to attend any performance at the Rosebud theater! I have never been but have heard fabulous reviews.

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