Northeast State Theater opens I, Ebenezer on Dec. 4

The holiday classic we know and love returns to the stage at Northeast State this December. Tickets are on sale now for the Northeast State Department of Theater’s I, Ebenezer a brilliant and original retelling of Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas adventure.

Adapted from the masterful novella A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, Northeast State’s own Brad McKenzie weaves the time-traveling Christmas tale in the age of steam…and robots!

The play is a family friendly production that deals with the human side of the beloved holiday story. I, Ebenezer tells the story of bitter old miser Ebenezer Scrooge, head of a multinational company that specializes in steam-powered android automatons. He is visited by a time-traveling stranger who takes him through inserts of his past and forces him to reexamine the choices he has made as well as how his choices impact the future of himself and all humanity.

Steampunk meets A Christmas Carol in I, Ebenezer.

McKenzie wrote the adaptation through the lens of the steampunk theme. Steampunk is a subgenre of speculative fiction, a fantasy story style that involves using steam-era technology to make highly complicated and advanced machines. Typically set in an anachronistic Victorian alternative history setting. It could be described by the slogan, “What the past would look like if the future had happened sooner.”

The costuming, make-up, and automaton look of Scrooge’s robots reflect this alternate world and coincide with the diverging paths Scrooge’s Victorian Britain faced during the mid-19th century. Could industrial growth and capitalism sustain a decent life for the poor or a shred of humanity for the rich?

The play stays true to Scrooge’s transformation as he faces a series of time jumping with a robot version of his former business partner Marley and a spunky time traveler from the future. The beloved characters of Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim are on hand to round out the story. Audiences follow Scrooge – himself the embodiment of winter – as his cold, crooked heart is restored to the innocent goodwill he had known in his youth.
Dickens’ Carol was one of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England. While the play gives audiences joy, mirth, and life of Christmas through time, it also challenges audiences with unforgettable images of darkness, coldness, and death. The play never strays from asking the ages-old question, what does it mean to be a human being?

Production dates are Dec. 4 -6 and Dec. 11-13 at 7:30 p.m. at the Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts on the College’s main campus at Blountville. Two matinee performances are scheduled on Dec. 7 and Dec. 14 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $10 and free to Northeast State students who present valid student identification.

For information about tickets or how to purchase tickets call the Box Office at 423.354.5169 or email Travis Brooks at For general questions about the productions or the Theater Department contact Elizabeth M. Sloan at or call at 423.354.2479.

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