“A Gospel According to Scrooge” was written by Jim Schumacher of Alexandria, who also plays Mr. Fezziwig. The production is co-directed by Jim’s wife, Dyann Schumacher, church secretary in the New Testament, Abby Johnson, and Amanda Reishus, children’s minister in the New Testament and Ms. Cratchit in the series.
Melody Thoen, left, who plays Ms. Fezziwig, and Jim Schumacher, the adaptation writer who also plays Mr. Fezziwig, are practicing their roles for the upcoming show which kicks off on December 8. Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press
“It was written with a message of salvation in mind and a way to reach people who don’t believe in Jesus,” Schumacher said. “Even though this is a Christian play, it really is a lot of fun and is meant to be enjoyed. Bring your friends and family no matter where they are at the church level.”
Jim wrote his adaptation in 1981 for his church at the time – Jesus People Church – while living in Minneapolis. What was to be a one-time production has turned into a show that more than 300 churches across the country have embraced. The production was made into a TV movie starring actor Dean Jones; Schumacher wrote a special narration section especially for Jones. The film is still televised today on TBN – Trinity Broadcasting Network.
“I had no idea this was going to be what he became. For me, it was the Lord spreading his message,” Jim said. “We are delighted to see so many places put on the show.”
According to Dyann, since the original show, more than 60,000 people have responded with salute.
“For years, we have received calls from all over asking for the rights to the part,” said Dyann.
The New Testament premiered the production in 1989, after the Schumachers moved to Alexandria, and performed the show every year until 2011. This year will be the first show the church has done in 10 years. .
Logan Lipke, left, and Paige Lipke practice their roles as Young Adult Scrooge and Young Belle for the upcoming production of The Gospel According to Scrooge, which premieres December 8. Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press
Johnson said it felt good to go back to a tradition their church is known for. The casting is all tied to the New Testament in one way or another; they are church members, New Testament school students, and New Testament youth group members. Even most of the costumes were handmade by church women during the early years of production.
“It helps develop relationships in our church body; we’ve become very family-like,” Johnson said. We have tried a few times over the past 10 years to get some interest from our church; we just didn’t have enough people to put on the show. This year many new faces joined our church and expressed interest in the show. Our cast size is around 75, and you need a cast of at least 60 to do this well. “
“It’s exciting,” Dyann said. “Every year that we weren’t doing the show, we had people calling to ask when it would be played. People who come tend to make it a family event. And with Covid, we think people need this. Merry Christmas Celebration. “
Jim described the production as a large community event that brings together members of other congregations in the church. In the past, it was a way for nursing home residents to get out and embrace the Christmas spirit.
The practice of the Gospel according to Scrooge has taken place every Sunday since September. On November 7, the cast performed a dress rehearsal at the production location, the Lake Geneva Christian Center Worship Center. From left to right, Lydia Mason, Angel # 1; Peter Reishus, Ebenezer Scrooge; and Jacob Loween, Young Scrooge. Thalen Zimmerman / Alexandria Echo Press
According to Amanda, the production is a complete musical with quite a bit of song and dance. It lasts almost two and a half hours and is suitable for all ages.
The production will take place at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-11 and 3 p.m. Dec. 12 at the Lake Geneva Christian Center – 605 Birch Ave, Alexandria, MN 56308 – with doors opening 45 minutes before time of day. spectacle. There is no admission fee.
“It’s a way of talking about Jesus without being in a church setting,” said Pete Reishus, playing Scrooge and New Testament pastor for 42 years. “People who have friends who need a little dose of the Lord bring them with them.”
Deb Holte – Mrs Shoemaker
Peter Reishus – Ebenezer Scrooge
Aaron French – Mr. Fredericks
Jeff Lipke – Town dweller # 1
Karen Peterson – Citizen # 2
Kevin Mason – Township # 3
Tucker Reishus – Bob Cratchit
Bethany Preston – Lawyer # 2
Tom Gieske – Lawyer # 1
Caitlen Baker – Girl in People
Jo Christianson – Voice of God
Lydia Mason – Angel # 1
Jacob Loween – Young Boy Scrooge
Paige Lipke – Young Beautiful
Stéphanie Erickson – Teacher
Katelyn Powers – Student # 1
Chloe Lukes – Student # 2
Thomas Schafer – Messenger
Logan Lipke – Young Adult Pictoa
Maddie Lipke – Beautiful Adult
Molly Lipke – Woman # 1 at Bal Fezziwig
Jim Schumacher – Mr. Fezziwig
Melody Thoen – Ms. Fezziwig
Merideth Reishus – Angel # 2
Samantha Gerdes – Dancer in “What is Christmas”
Amanda Reishus – Ms. Caroline Cratchit
Molly Lipke – Mary (Cratchit scene)
Emma Reishus – Elizabeth Cratchit
Zoe Swor – Matha Cratchit
Jeff Lipke -Fred (Cratchit scene)
Obadiah Reishus – Tiny Tim
Chloe Lukes – Other Cratchit Children
Emelia Preston – Belinda
Levi Preston – The Other Children of Fred and Mary
Lowell Anderson – Angel # 3
Dylan Hauer – Four Gentlemen
Jason Gieske – Pawnbroker
Stephen Reishus – Butler
Natasha Trumble – Laundress
Collette Jarvi – Additional pawn
Phoenix – Juror
Children in the school scene:
Moriah Loween, Elim Loween, Emma Reishus, Phoenix Swor, Levi Preston, Nellie Reishus,
Reagan Johnson, Zoe Swor, Chloe Lukes, Jacob Loween, Paige Lipke, Katelyn Powers, Emelia Preston, Josiah Lukes, Joes Preston, Olive Reishus.
Tessa Trumble, Erika Trumble, Sydney Swor, Olive Reishus, Clara Mason, Charis Lukes, Reagan Johnson, Millie Johnson.
Additional inhabitants (all other cast members are also city dwellers):
Daniel Miller, Kelly Miller, Greg Sandeno, Trina Sandeno, Marie Swor, Juile Gieske, Joanna Mason, Kevin Mason, Suzie Reishus, Luke Erickson, Kidron Baker, Kevin Baker, Philip Simonson, Beth Alsleben, Chuck Alsleben.
Backstage team / Production preparation / Etc:
Quinto Lotti, Rita Lotti, Andrew Preston, Lynette Swedberg, Jerry Swedberg, Cameron Swedberg, Chelsea Wiarda, Adell Lukes, Brianna Sakaria, Helen Ann Wagner, Paulette Bakeberg, Naomi Bjorklund, Noel Schonberg, John Christian, Shirley Molitor, Kim Anderson, Mary Nelson, Connie Baker, Barry Arvold, Wanda Loween, Vange Anderson, Karla Stotesbury, Jonathan Aos.