It's not the Christmas season at EA without Scrooge Chapel! This year, the cherished Chapel service returned on Monday, Dec. 18. Although it was dreary outside, the Class of 1944 Chapel was bright and cheerful as the EA community waited in anticipation to see which cultural icons would be featured in the 2023 live retelling of A Christmas Carol.
"This is the Chapel you've all been waiting for," said Head Chaplain Fr. Tim Gavin, Hon. as students took their seats. "The faculty have worked hard to prepare this for your enjoyment to get us ready for the holiday season."
Much to the delight of Middle and Upper School students, this year's energetic cast of faculty, staff, and students delivered over-the-top performances and added creative flourishes to the beloved classic story. Watch here.
Dressed as Papa Elf (Buddy the Elf's adoptive father), Buckley Executive Director, Chair for Teaching & Learning Justin Cerenzia played the role of the narrator, while Classics Teacher Molly Konopka, Hon. revived her role once again as the grumpy Eloisa Scrooge.
"Everyone was so enthusiastic this year!" said Scrooge Chapel Director and Theatre and Dance Department Chair Dan Clay, Hon. "These faculty members put a lot of time and effort into this performance at one of the busiest times of the year because they want to make it special for the students. It's really fun to watch them bring it to life. They wrote most of it themselves, and Molly did a wonderful job keeping up with all the changes! I hope everyone had a great time."
Students cheered excitedly as Upper School History Teacher Chuck Bryant, Hon. strolled down the aisle as Jacob Marley, dressed as the King of Rock and Roll himself, Elvis Presley. "You ain't nothin' but a hound dog, cryin' all the time. But you have one chance yet; one hope of escaping my fate," Elvis told Eloisa. "You will be haunted by three ghosts."
"Hi, Barbie!" The first haunting by the Ghosts of Christmas Past came from Upper School Science Teacher Jenn Jones (Barbie) and Class of 2027 Form Dean Ryan Klein '09 (Ken), who brought an upbeat attitude—and lots of pink—to their spirited performance.
Religion Department Chair Mike Sheehan '04 (Shrek) and Upper School History Teacher Damon Kuzemka, Hon. (Lord Farquaad) appeared next as the Ghosts of Christmas Present, filling the Chapel with laughter as they made everyone a "believer."
Finally, Upper School French Teacher Christele Furey, Hon. (Taylor Swift) and Math Department Chair CJ Yespelkis, Hon. (Travis Kelce) haunted Eloisa Scrooge as America's newest powerhouse couple and took her "Back to December" as the Ghosts of Christmas Future.
It also was a thrill to see Band Director Ryan Dankanich, Hon. return as the well-loved Tiny Tim, joined by Upper School History Teacher Michael Whalen '08 as Bob Cratchit and 6th Grade Form Dean Celeste Sweeney, Hon. as Mrs. Cratchit.
Director of Diversity and Inclusion Ayinde Tate made his Scrooge Chapel debut as Fred, while tech gadget-holding Computer Science Teachers Ryan Baber, Shannon Crowley, and Matthew Davis encouraged Eloisa Scrooge to remember the meaning of Christmas as the Solicitors.
Class of 2024 Form Dean Tanuja Murray played the role of The Boy, and members of the Domino Board serenaded the crowd to open the show and also played the joyful Cratchit children throughout.
Learn more about the four decades of Scrooge Chapel at EA with a "From the Archives" feature in the Winter 2023 Connections Magazine and a video retrospective from 2020.