Emerald Coast Theatre Company presents a new holiday tradition

Staff Writer
Walton Sun

Emerald Coast Theatre Company, a not-for-profit professional theater company based in Miramar Beach, will present the first ever staging of “A Dickens Christmas,” directed by ECTC’s producing artistic director Nathanael Fisher, at two different venues along the Northwest Florida Gulf coast.  

“A Dickens Christmas” is an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ beloved holiday classic “A Christmas Carol.” In this version, three actors will play multiple roles as they bring to life the tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformational night with the three ghosts.

Fisher has been involved in professional theatre for more than 20 years, most recently as director of “Reasons to be Pretty” “A Christmas Carol” and “Anton in Show Business” at the University of West Florida.

The three-member cast includes Darla Briganti, Laura Holloway and Allen Walker.

Briganti is a 30-year theater veteran whose stage credits include such popular roles as Mama Rose in “Gypsy,” Mama in “Mame,” and Patsy in “Always Patsy Cline.”

Holloway recently relocated to the area from Phoenix, where she appeared as Titania in “A Midsummer Night's Dream,” Becca in “Rabbit Hole” and Cecily in “The Odd Couple.” 

Walker has been the leading man in many productions in Panama City including the title role in “Pericles,” Krogstad in “A Doll's House” and Einstein in “Picasso at the Lapin Agile.”

Glenn Breed is costume designer. Breed is the resident costume designer for Pensacola Opera and the Janiec Opera Company at Brevard Music Center. He also currently serves as associate professor of theater in costume design and technology at the University of West Florida.

“A Dickens Christmas” will be staged in both Okaloosa and Walton County. The performance schedule includes five performances in Destin at the Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village in the Veranda Room on Dec. 11, 13 and 21 at 7:30 p.m.; and on Dec. 13 and 20 at 2 p.m. 

The Dec. 13 matinee, sponsored by the Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast’s Arts in Medicine program, invites families with special needs to attend.

Four additional performances on Dec. 18, 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and on Dec. 21 at 2 p.m. will be staged in Miramar Beach at Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in the LeCiel Ballroom.

Doors open 30 minutes prior to performance time. Tea and cookies will be served prior to the performance. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children 5 to 12. Not recommended for children under 5. To purchase tickets or make a tax-deductible donation, visit emeraldcoasttheatre.org or call 850-687-1637.

“All of us at ECTC are excited to add the theatrical arts to the area’s coastal holiday traditions. ‘A Dickens Christmas’ is a great opportunity to gather with friends and family and get into the spirit of the season. We can’t think of a better way to make memories or time better spent than attending a live professional theater performance,” said Fisher.

This ECTC debut production is made possible by the generous support from the St. Joe Foundation. Major support provided by Chris Ogle with Wells Fargo Advisors, Mary Hong Studio Gallery and Silver Sands Premium Outlet. Host venue sponsors are Emerald Grande at HarborWalk Village and Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort, with refreshments provided by Karaboo Bakery.