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Retelling a Christmas classic

What if one of the world’s most celebrated authors got writer’s block—at the worst possible time? That’s the basic premise behind “Uncle Charlie’s Christmas Carol,” the NoneSuch Playmakers’ 2022 holiday production.

It’s November 1843, and in his London home, Charles Dickens, played by David Nielsen, is attempting, without success, to finish his latest story. He’s facing a deadline, and the world is waiting for his much-anticipated “Christmas Carol.”

Dickens’ frustrations are multiplied by the arrival of two houseguests—his young nieces Elizabeth, played by Ava Chrismon, and Margaret, portrayed by Salem Poindexter, both aspiring writers who idolize their famous uncle. When the precocious girls realize that the great author is literally at a loss for words, they offer their assistance— to help Dickens see the story in a new way. He is reluctant at first, but as the collaboration develops the story comes to life.

“This is where the magic begins,” said Brack Llewellyn, who wrote the play and directs it along with his wife and NoneSuch co-founder Angela Llewellyn. “Dickens assumes the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. As the three writers combine their ideas, the familiar characters appear—Bob Cratchit (Jake Pack), Jacob Marley (Brian Greene), the Ghosts of Christmas Past (Jessica Wood) Present (Chris Powell) and Future (Bill Colvard), along with younger versions of Scrooge himself (Jecht Frost and Rowan Bunton). Physically, we never leave Dickens’ study, but we travel beyond its walls through the imagination of the playwrights.”

Throughout the play, passages from the original story are combined with new dialogue. Dickens, as Scrooge, steps in and out of character to advance the tale. The girls, acting as muses, will sometimes speak the familiar lines along with the characters they have created, interact with them, or make small dialogue changes during the scenes.

“Pure imagination,” Llewellyn commented. “At this moment all these characters exist only in the minds of Dickens, Margaret and Elizabeth. The audience is invited to share in their creative process as the story we all know as ‘A Christmas Carol’ is born.”

The large cast also includes Angela Llewellyn, Janelle Matzdorf, Dani Ashley Davis, Branden Macie, Adella Smith, Toby Bunton, Noel Bryant, Olivia Jessup, Kezia Bryant, Alyssa Mitchem, Jonas Bryant, Xavier Aviles, Rachel Macie, Timothy Carpenter, Lily Thomas, Billie Jo Smith, Angela Bryant, Meredith Dowdy and Petyr Bryant.

Performances of “Uncle Charlie’s Christmas Carol” are Friday Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m.. All performances will be held at the L.H.Jones Auditorium, 215 Jones School Road, Mount Airy. These are “pay what you can” performances. There is no set ticket price. The Playmakers ask that you pay only what your budget can afford. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the work of the Surry County Senior Center.

Learn more about the work of the NoneSuch Playmakers and their 21-year history at



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