Playhouse production aims for “warm fuzzies”

— Created December 6, 2023 by Kathy Reed

By Kathy Reed

Whidbey Playhouse in Oak Harbor has a classic gift for audiences this holiday season. Its production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” opens Friday and will run just two weekends. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to the show are $15 and are available online at or by calling the box office at 360-679-2237.

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
The ghost of Jacob Marley (Lisa Judd), right, comes to warn Ebenezer Scrooge (Ben Honeycutt) he will be visited by three spirits overnight in the classic Charles Dickens story, “A Christmas Carol.” The show opens Friday at Whidbey Playhouse in Oak Harbor and will run through Dec. 17.

Directed by Eric George, this adaptation was written in 2017 by longtime Playhouse volunteer Stan Thomas. Although streamlined slightly this year, this production delivers everything one might expect from this beloved story.

“It’s Dickens’ story,” said Thomas. “If you listen carefully, it’s all his dialogue.  It’s not my dialogue, it’s his dialogue. I just tried to make it come alive.”

George, who was the assistant director of the show in 2017, said he had things he wanted to accomplish with the production this time around.

“I wanted to do something different from the last time I directed,” he said. “I have grown so much as a director since that production, and I set out to do things with our show that I felt had never been seen by our audience before, while staying true to what Charles Dickens’ wrote and keeping the stuff that people expect from ‘A Christmas Carol.’”

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
In his adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” longtime Whidbey Playhouse volunteer Stan Thomas uses a group of madrigal singers to help tell the story of what is happening to Ebenezer Scrooge. Pictured from left are Allenda Jenkins, Geri Thomas, Ellie Alexander and Susan Larsen.

Audiences will not be disappointed. The set is done in a modified black box style, meaning it’s simple and there are just enough props to set the scenes. The costumes are well done and fit the era perfectly. It’s a large, all-ages cast; of the 39 actors, about half of them have never been on stage before. It’s clear actor Ben Honeycutt, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge, thoroughly enjoys the role and does an outstanding job, as does the rest of the cast.

“We have an amazing cast; I can’t put into words how great they are,” said George. “When we had auditions for this show we had almost 60 people come. I do want to take a minute and give this cast a round of applause. Every single one of them stepped up and has all given 100 percent to this show and we have thrown a lot at them.”

George is talking in part about the short time frame in which they’ve turned the production around.

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Lachlan Waterbury appears as the Ghost of Christmas Present in the Whidbey Playhouse production of “A Christmas Carol,” playing through Dec. 17.

“From the time we had auditions until opening night, we will have mounted a full production in seven weeks,” he said. “That includes all the stage work, costumes for 39 people (some playing more than one character), tech work, rehearsals, as well as having one production on the Playhouse stage, and two others in rehearsal. This has truly been the most challenging, but one of the most rewarding, shows I have ever done at the Playhouse.”

“It’s great fun. People love this story,” said Thomas. “It’s a story that way deep down we have a sense for, because we want to be like Scrooge. We want to be able to come out of all the problems, all the things we might have done in the past that we regret, and one day shine like he does. That moment of personal redemption.”

Whidbey Playhouse is located at 730 SE Midway Blvd. in Oak Harbor. Information and show details can be found online at

“This is a great family show,” said George. “It’s got everything you could want in a show – dancing, music, great acting. It’s family friendly. I also hope it leaves the audience with a warm, fuzzy feeling in their hearts.” 

Kathy Reed/Whidbey Weekly
Ebenezer Scrooge (Ben Honeycutt) has no time for any holiday joy and makes it known he thinks it’s all “humbug” in the Whidbey Playhouse production of “A Christmas Carol,” opening Friday