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Director's Note

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belieft, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it wa the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way - in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparios only." -Charles Dickens Tale of Two Cities

Charles Dickens first published his novel A Tale of Two Cities in 1859, three years before his contemporary Victor Hugo published his most famous work Les Misérables. Both authors chose to set their stories against the backdrop of the French Revolutions of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth-centuries. Though Hugo had used an historic setting for his earlier novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, this was a departure for Dickens as his stories were usually set within the years of his own lifetime. He more often drew from events and characters that populated his early life in Victorian England. So, why would Dickens suddenly travel back in time almost eighty years to create a study of revolution?

Like many of his works, Dickens hoped not only to entertain his readers, but to affect social change. By 1860, London had grown to be the largest city in the world. The great revolutions and political struggles of late nineteenth-century Europe brought many from Russia, Poland, France, Italy and Germany - including revolutionaries and political activists, but most came to work, or to escape persecution. Cities provided a wider range of jobs, but unskilled and casual workers continued to struggle with low wages and irregular incomes, the fear of accidents and the dread of slipping into that criminal underworld which Dickens wrote often about. The urban poor of this day and those from the 1780's had much in common: unsanitary and overcrowded housing, low wages, poor direct, insecure employment and the dreaded effects of sickeness and old age. Add to that mix an apathetic and oppressive aristocracy and the current social climate he was witnessing was a brewing storm that had eerie echoes of the not so distant past.

In A Tale of Two Cities, Dickens expresses sympathy for the downtrodden poor by paralleling the injustices of the social and poltical systems in Victorian London with those that ignited a revolution in France a century before. However, Dickens is no friend of the vengeful mob that stormed the Bastille and cheered the guillotine. As with all of his stories, his passion is for the unforgettable individuals he creates. The sorrows of the suffering masses, their demands for justice, and the indiscrimate fury they unleash take flesh in Madame Defarge, while the self-sacrifice that is the truest means of atonement in manifested in the unlikely hero Sydney Carton. In A Tale of Two Cities, humanity does not show its best side in the mean streets of Paris or even London, but in the intimate circle of loyal friends that gathers around the honorable Doctor Manette and his lovely daughter, Lucie.

As he does with so many of his characters, Dickens continually reminds his readers that it is choice more than circumstance that determines our destinies. Indiscriminate words or actions carried out in fits of passion often ends in tragic consequences for even the noblest of souls. Likewise, for those who have long been thought lost, a seemingly random act of kindness could provide the first step on a pathway to redemption.

A Tale of Two Cities is a cautionary tale written for the people of Dickens' time. Yet like many great classics, it remains a timely as it is timeless. "It was the best of times, it was the works of time..."

Dave Tinney

Cast List

The MWF cast also performs the Saturday 12:30 p.m. performance. The THS cast performs the Saturday 4:00 p.m. & 7:30 p.m.

Please note we can never guarantee a performer (especially for weekday matinees). An actor may change with their double or understudy at any time.

Sydney Carton

MWF Kyle Olsen
THS Casey Elliott

Charles Darney

MWF Ren Cottam
THS Kelton Davis

Dr. Manette

MWF David Weekes
THS Ric Starnes

Lucie Manette

MWF Britanny Andam
THS Jessica Sundwall Hudson

Mr. Jarvis Lorry

MWF Jared Dunn
THS Mark Knowles

Miss Pross

MWF Linda Jean Stephenson
THS Sharon Kenison

Madame Therese Defarge

MWF Adrien Swenson
THS McKenna Jensen

Ernest Defarge

MWF Austin Smith
THS Jason Baldwin

Marquis St. Evremonde

MWF Josh Egbert
THS Jim Dale

John Barsad

MWF Stephen Kerr
THS John Sweeney

Jerry Cruncher

MWF Oran Marc de Baritault
THS J.R. Moore

Stryver (Man 1)

MWF David K. Martin
THS Justin Bills

Gaspard (Man 2)

MWF Alex DeBirk
THS David Matthew Smith

Gabelle (Man 3)

MWF Kiirt Banks
THS George Banner

Man 4

MWF Patrick Wendel
THS Tony Akin

Man 5

MWF Jason Buonforte
THS Spencer Anopol

Young Man (Man 6)

MWF Abram Yarbro
THS Nathan Kremin

Young Manette (Man 7)

MWF Woody Brook
THS Jadon Webster

Seamstress (Woman 1)

MWF Melinda DeBirk
THS Samantha Paredes

Woman 2

MWF Madeleine Hanks
THS MaKenna Tinney

Woman 3

MWF Rachel Martorana
THS Aitana Alapa

Mrs. Cruncher (Woman 4)

MWF April Kerr
THS Julie Waite

Woman 5

MWF Becca Ashton
THS Jaymie Lambson

Woman 6

MWF Anya Young Wilson
THS Rachel Ryan Nicholes

Little Gaspard/Male Child

MWF Nolan Reinbold
THS Parker Burnham

Little Lucie/Female Child

MWF Leilani Walker
THS Hailey Burnham