State Theatre stage allows for bigger, better ‘Scrooge, the Musical’

The State Theatre and State College Community Theatre are teaming up to bring a musical version of a holiday classic to the stage.

“Scrooge, The Musical” is based on Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol” and adapted from the 1970s film “Scrooge” starring Albert Finney. State Theatre executive director Richard Biever is directing the production and said he’s long enjoyed the musical

“It’s an excellent show,” he said. “I’ve watched it on TV and thought it would transition to the stage and, lo and behold, there’s a musical version out there that I have the opportunity to direct.”

Biever said this is the first time “Scrooge, the Musical “ will be performed in State College, and he called the partnership between the State Theatre and State College Community Theatre a natural fit.

“We wanted to partner and share the fun of staging this great musical,” he said. “It fits very well with the mission of the State Theatre of hosting local programming and producing more of our own shows.”

At 35 members, the “Scrooge” cast is larger than those in most of the group’s other productions. The State Theatre is larger than the SCCT’s regular venue at the Boal Barn, which allowed for a bigger production, Biever said.

Tom McClary plays Scrooge and said he’s trying to make the character his own rather than drawing the numerous other performances done throughout the years.

“He starts out mean but does change, so you have to find ways to show that change and make it believable within the timeframe of the show,” McClary said.

Performing in the State Theatre is different than the Boal Barn, McClary said, noting the former is a larger, traditional theater while the latter is a more intimate setting in the round. The change is a welcome challenge for the company, McClary said.

“Because it’s a bigger space, you need to be vocally stronger and your physical movements need to be bigger as well,” he said. “But it’s great to be able to see everyone from the stage and it’s going to be a lot of fun.”