The Message from Jacob Marley, written by KU Professor David Trouten, received great reviews when it was produced last month on stage at 246 The Main Cultural Arts Theatre in the Lynchburg, Virginia, area. Trouten gave the Charles Dickens’ story, A Christmas Carol, a twist through Marley who redeems his life on his deathbed with a dying wish that God would grant him a post-grave visit to Scrooge. With a spirit of playfulness, Marley warns and teaches Scrooge to give up his greedy, selfish life.
After releasing the script for production, Trouten, who is Chair of the General Education Division and Professor of Communication, received this note from the director.
“Dicken’s Christmas Carol is one of my favourite stories,” wrote Donnalynn Davis. “Thank you so much for allowing us to use your version for our theatre. It is a perfect fit as it highlights the true meaning of Christmas. We are bold enough to proclaim it in a world that wants to squelch it. I am honoured to have it here at 246 The Main.”
Trouten’s story captivated its audience.
“I have been to many performances at your theater,” said one attendee. “To be sure, they were all worthy performances. However, this one totally outdid itself in every way! Even the children were mesmerized; laughing at the comedy, staying totally engrossed during the drama. Congratulations to everyone involved! What a show!!! Bravo!”
“This show could not have been any better had anyone tried,” wrote another reviewer. “This was one of the best performances that I have seen. Everyone did so wonderfully well and can’t wait to see what else is to come.”
With seating for about 150 people, the intimate theatre presented four showings of the play. As word of mouth spread about the outstanding production, the theatre had to turn away so many people that they could have had more than enough people to have staged another showing. Unfortunately, their schedule would not allow it.
In addition to being a playwriter, Trouten is also a contributing writer to the on-line parenting magazine, Just 18 Summers, and is on the Board of Directors for Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival.