Christmas in November


Aven Santiago, left, as Fred and Fr. Bob Bouffier, right, as Ebenezer Scrooge.

On a cold, dreary Christmas Eve, a stingy and spiteful old man walks through town to work while those he passes avoid eye contact and keep their distance from him. At work, his attitude toward his young worker and nephew remains just as vile as his reputation.

Based off Charles Dickens’ popular story “A Christmas Carol,” Chaminade University brings the story to life for this semester’s fall play that ran from Nov. 9-18. Narrated by Bro. Gary Morris, who is also the director, the play immerses the audience the moment the lights dim.

The story starts out with the death of a man by the name of Jacob Marley, played by Chaminade staff member Curtis Washburn, business partner to one Ebenezer Scrooge, played by Fr. Bob Bouffier. The company the two men shared is then given to Scrooge, a bitter old man who despises Christmas wholeheartedly.

“Fr. Bob was very convincing as Scrooge,” said Brad Angelo, 18, a freshman at Chaminade University who saw the play this past Friday. “He was very good at being angry.”

Taking his distaste for the holiday out on his young worker Bob Cratchit, played by Chaminade sophomore Adam Brewer, Scrooge is visited by the spirit of his former coworker Marley. Marley proceeded in warning him about his impending fate when he died and of three spirits who will take him to Christmas of the past, present and future.

His first visitation of the ghosts is by the Ghost of Christmas Past, played by Alexandra “Alamoni” Copney. Having being casted in her third fall play at Chaminade, her theater career started in elementary school where she participated in church plays. But her love and want to be part of plays for her was her freshman year of high school where she watched “Guys and Dolls” with Frank Sinatra.

“I wanted to make people happy, even if it’s for five minutes,” said Copney, 20. “I want them to feel the way I did when they see me perform. I knew that was the day a fire started in me, and I continue to work hard and keep that fire burning in me.”

With being cast as the Ghost of Christmas Past, Copney had to wear a blonde wig, which was a highlight of the play for her seeing how Sister Grace, who assisted with the costumes, said this specific character was the symbol of youth.

“At first I thought it was bizarre,” Copney said. “But now it’s normal, and I’ve gotten a lot of compliments on it and people have said I look good as a blonde. I think of it like I’m getting my Nicki Minaj on.”

During the time Scrooge spent with the Ghost of Christmas Past, one could see beginnings of the transformation from a coldhearted grouch to a more lighthearted, spirited person. As the performance continued with the visitation of the Ghost of Christmas Present, played by University of Hawai`i student Ioassa Tu`u, the set became more upbeat and lively as Scrooge visited his nephew Fred as an apparition.

With the music and laughter that was shared, it gave the audience a feel like they were part of a party as some people were bounce to the beat of the music. It was also when Scrooge was first hit hard with the reality of what people thought of him. The pain that was portrayed by Fr. Bob made one feel almost sorry for Scrooge.

At the end of the span of the Ghost of Christmas Past, the play smoothly transitioned from the cheerful, bright party to the dark, dismal possibility of what was to come if Scrooge didn’t change his current situation. The acting that was given by the Cratchit family as well as Fr. Bob was portrayed so well that one could feel the chill of that cold Christmas Eve and the realization of Scrooge’s actions.

Overall, the play was a wonderfully put together performance. Though the cast was relatively small, it gave a personable feeling to where it felt like one was part of each scene. However, the audience wasn’t the only ones who enjoyed themselves.

“I felt like Katniss Everdeen, like I was the ‘Girl on Fire,’” Copney said. “I look at it as a challenge for me to do better each performance, it’s like its second nature and I really get into character. When I’m on stage, nothing else matters except putting on an amazing show.”