The beloved Scrooge Chapel returned once again to the Class of 1944 Chapel on Tuesday, Dec. 13, and the live performance featuring an enthusiastic cast of faculty, staff, and students did not disappoint.
"Scrooge Chapel is one of EA's most loved holiday traditions," said Scrooge Chapel Director and Theatre and Dance Department Chair Dan Clay, Hon. Before the highly anticipated performance began, Mr. Clay provided a simple request to the audience. "While we are laughing and having a good time, I ask that you think about the message underneath Scrooge Chapel," he said. "Let's keep what the author [Charles Dickens] is trying to say in our hearts and our minds." Watch here.
Academic Dean Kelly Edwards, Hon. played the role of the narrator, while Classics teacher Molly Konopka, Hon. returned as the grumpy Eloisa Scrooge. "It's a magically written piece of art," said Mrs. Konopka of A Christmas Carol. "The lessons that it teaches are so timely and yet so basic."
Students were excited to see Upper School History Teacher Chuck Bryant, Hon. stroll down the aisle as Jacob Marley, wrapped in chains and dressed as King Viserys Targaryen from House of the Dragon. "You will be haunted by three spirits!" he exclaimed to Eloisa Scrooge before making his exit.
The first haunting was by Executive Director of the Office of DEI Erica Snowden (Beyoncé), who brought giggles and smiles with her spirited and musical Ghost of Christmas Past performance.
Donning a green flight suit and aviator sunglasses, Upper School English Teacher Tony Herman (Top Gun: Maverick) appeared next as the Ghost of Christmas Present, filling the Class of 1944 Chapel with laughter as he flew around the aisles.
"I loved Mr. Herman. He was hilarious!" shared a junior. Finally, Eloisa Scrooge was haunted by Associate Teacher CJ McAnally '17 (Bryce Harper) and Upper School History Teacher Max Kelly '06 (Kyle Schwarber) as the Ghosts of Christmas Future, who came in "dancing on their own."
It was a thrill to see Band Director Ryan Dankanich, Hon. make his return as the well-loved Tiny Tim, joined by Upper School Math Teacher Tom Goebeler, Hon. as Bob Cratchit and Upper School Science Teacher Jenn Jones as Mrs. Cratchit.
Middle School Chaplain Rev. Michael Palmasino made his Scrooge Chapel debut as Fred, while the Middle and Upper School Psychologists and Counselors—Lily Hall, Nicole Chaikin, and Caroline Graham (the Kardashians)—encouraged Eloisa Scrooge to remember the meaning of Christmas as the Solicitors.
Middle School Librarian Sheli Hays made her debut as The Boy, and members of the Domino Board serenaded the crowd to open the show and also played the joyful Cratchit children throughout.
"Everyone was really committed to their roles this year," Mr. Clay explained. "Erica Snowden had Beyoncé down. She came up with everything from the dialogue to the costume itself. Same with the school psychologists/counseling team as the Kardashians. Max Kelly and CJ McAnally were channeling Bryce Harper and Kyle Schwarber and, of course, Tony Herman's energy can't be topped. They all did great work. We were also proud to have Chuck Bryant, a close friend of both Marc Mandeville, Hon. and the Rev. Bert Zug '78—not to mention a good actor—take over the role of Marley!"
"There is a reason this is the best Chapel of the year," remarked a senior. "It was amazing!" see photos
Unfamiliar with Scrooge Chapel? Learn more about the history of Scrooge Chapel at EA with a video retrospective from 2020.