David Trouten, who is Chair of Kingswood’s General Education Division and Professor of Communications, enjoys writing, reading, and watching great films. Two of his plays have been staged for thousands in highly acclaimed productions, and recently a third play, The Message from Jacob Marley, was selected to be produced on stage at 246 The Main Cultural Arts Center this December.
The play is based on the Christmas classic, A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens, but Trouten gives the tale a new twist.
“I have always been a fan of this old story and am surprised at how few people have read the original book,” said Trouten. “Hollywood likes to change things especially when it involves redemption; however the original text uses language inspiring the idea of spirits for good (like angels), not ghosts (which tend to a have a sinister reputation).”
“Although scared throughout the story, Scrooge’s transformation is the result of regrets, not fear of more hauntings,” continued Trouten. “My twist to the tale comes through Marley, a character whose deathbed is overwhelmed with regrets. What if he redeemed his life on his deathbed with a dying wish that God grant him a post-grave visit to Scrooge?”
In The Message from Jacob Marley, God does grant Marley a gift that the wealthy man of the Bible (Luke 16) was not given; to go back and warn. But Marley’s redeemed afterlife has also spawned a spirit of playfulness in him that he uses to tease Scrooge through the lessons.
“My desire to stage Dickens’ story was a dream from my youth,” said Trouten. “I penned the original play in excess of twenty years ago, but (as with many writers) it has been revamped through the years. Writing is an evolutionary process for me.”
The play will be performed on December 4, 5, and 6 at 246 The Main Cultural Arts Theatre in Brookneal, Virginia. The venue in the Lynchburg area is an old plastics factory that has been renovated to house a full stage with theatre seating. Tickets are already on sale at lynchburgtickets.com.
Professor 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.