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Actors Get into Character in Shakespeare Theatre's 'A Christmas Carol'

The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey is concluding its 49th season with "A Christmas Carol," staged with a few twists. The company's version was adapted for the stage by British playwright Neil Bartlett, who uses only exact words and passages from the Charles Dickens novel for his treatment.

Rick Engler, of the Shakespeare Theatre, says that the production uses only 11 actors to play some 50 roles, "including roles that are inanimate objects. For example, all of the sound effects, so the clock ticking is performed by actors. The bells chiming are performed by actors."

By using only the exact wording found in the book, Engler adds the production adheres closely to the original intentions of Dickens, who wanted "A Christmas Carol" to be read out loud.

Performances of the play continue at the theater, located at 36 Madison Avenue in Madison, New Jersey theater through January 1, 2012. Listen to some of the sound effects above and get a show schedule here.