Asa Olsson

Asa Olsson stands before the cast of the 2019 production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” during a dress rehearsal on Monday, Dec. 2. She will step down as director of the show after this year’s performance, but plans to remain active with the Alcazar Theatre.

This year’s production of “A Christmas Carol” at the Alcazar Theatre will mark director Asa Olsson’s 29th and final year directing the show. Olsson says that by stepping down she is “leaving room for a younger generation of directors to choose how they would like to delight our audiences in anticipation of the holidays.”

The production will show for only one weekend this year, with performances at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12, 13 and 14, and at 2 and 5 p.m. on Dec. 15. Olsson has been involved with the Alcazar Theatre, formerly the Carpinteria Community Theatre, since 1982 as a board member, director, set builder, light and sound technician, costumer and more. Her production of Charles Dickens’s tale debuted in 1990 and has become a well-loved Carpinteria holiday tradition.  

“Not a year has gone by when I haven’t been approached by community members about when the opening night would take place,” Olsson said. “It has become a tradition for many families to be a part of the production as cast, crew or simply as audience.” Many of the show’s actors have returned each year, with Olsson giving them a chance to try out different characters. She says that she has watched the children in the show grow up right before her and return year after year as they pursue their love of theatre.

“I will miss it greatly, working with a cast of all ages, walks of life and various theatrical experiences,” Olsson said. “It has been a work of true passion, and a need to keep live theatre as an integral part of our community. Our open auditions have brought people out of the woodwork, realizing dreams from their youth of being on stage.”

The cast will also participate in the annual Carpinteria Holiday Spirit Parade on Saturday, Dec. 14 for those hoping to catch a glimpse of Ebenezer Scrooge and his friends. “I can’t imagine getting ready for the holidays without ‘A Christmas Carol,’ but I am looking forward to see what next year will bring,” Olsson said.

For more information about tickets and show times, contact the Alcazar Theatre at info@thealcazar.org, or call (805) 684-6380. Tickets for “A Christmas Carol” can be purchased in advance at thealcazar.org.

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