Holiday Spirit Revisits UTEP with ‘A Christmas Carol’

Originally published December 12, 2014

By Rodrigo Castañeda

UTEP News Service

If You Go

What: A Christmas Carol

When: Shows at 7:30 p.m. take place Saturday, Dec. 20 and Sunday, Dec. 21. Matinee shows are at 2:30 p.m. and take place Sunday, Dec. 14 and Sunday, Dec. 21.

Where: Wise Family Theatre in the Fox Fine Arts Center

Ticket specials: UTEP Alumni night is Sunday, Dec. 14; UTEP faculty and staff matinee is for the 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 show; Military night is Saturday, Dec. 20; El Paso City and County employee night is for the 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 21 show. All ticket specials are buy-one-get-one free and require a valid ID.


The time for holiday spirit and cheer is back in season. With Christmas around the corner, The University of Texas at El Paso’s Department of Theatre and Dance invites everyone to the annual production of A Christmas Carol.

UTEP’s production of this Charles Dickens classic premieres at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 14 in the Wise Family Theatre, located on the second floor of the Fox Fine Arts Center, and runs through Sunday, Dec. 21.

UTEP theatre students pose in the set for ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Photo courtesy of Adriana Dominguez.
UTEP theatre students pose on the set of ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Photo courtesy of Adriana Dominguez.

Dickens’ narrative is a Christmas classic that follows Ebenezer Scrooge, a coldhearted miser who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve. These ghosts warn him of his terrible fate if he continues with his stingy and greedy ways after Christmas. Scrooge’s hope for redemption comes from the help of the three spirits who visit him.

Austin Savage, a UTEP graduate and founder of the Border Theatre, returns to the 2014 production of A Christmas Carol for a fourth consecutive year as director. Savage looks at the show’s direction as a personal challenge to keep the Christmas story fresh.

“By the time I took over the production, it had already been refined for some time,” Savage commented. “I was able to institute a few changes that have continued on a yearly basis, but really, the goal is to take a well-running machine and just fine tune it every year as opposed to reinventing it.”

New and regular audience members of UTEP’s A Christmas Carol are in for a few surprises, such as a redesigned sequence of Christmas Past and a novel perspective from an all-new cast.

UTEP’s production of A Christmas Carol was first performed almost a decade ago, and the theatre department has worked hard year after year to make sure the Dickens story of redemption became a holiday tradition in El Paso.

“I have not shied away from some of the darkness contained within the play and I have tried my best to embrace the supernatural elements as well,” Savage said. “The work contains so much joy that it will inevitably be in there, but exploring the darkness makes the light even brighter. I hope that people who attend the play understand that their behavior on a daily basis has the potential to be life changing.”

Throughout the past nine years, attendance and encouraging response from audiences has made the timeless Christmas tale a success.

“We have several faculty, staff and students who look forward to the production every year,” said Adriana Dominguez, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor and director of audience development for UTEP’s Department of Theatre and Dance. “Everyone knows that we are going to produce the show and we have patrons calling in September hoping to start booking their tickets!”

In addition to the four public performances, UTEP’s Department of Theatre and Dance perform for nearly 2,000 school children during the week of Dec. 15.

Tickets are $13 for general admission; $11 for UTEP faculty and staff, seniors, military, non-UTEP students, groups (10+) and alumni with card; and $9 for UTEP students and children (4-12 years old).

For tickets and more information, call 915-747-5118.