An Interview with Buck Busfield, Artistic Director and Adapter of A Christmas Carol at B Street Theatre.
Conducted by B Street Staff Member Lyndsay Burch on November 10, 2016
Q: There are many productions of A Christmas Carol that take place across the country during the Holiday Season. Can you describe how B Street’s production is unique from others?
A: This adaptation pokes fun at itself while also trying to capture the spirit of the original. It’s very easy to lean on the sentimentality of this tale, so with our fabulous company of actors we found a way to tell the tale with a wink and a nod and all of Dickens’ heart.
Q: What inspired you to write this particular adaptation of Dickens’ classic tale?
A: I love redemption tales. I think they’re beautiful and in the Holiday Season they’re particularly touching. And there’s no better redemption tale than A Christmas Carol.
Q: What are the challenges of adapting a classic piece of literature such as A Christmas Carol? What do you enjoy most about writing an adaptation?
A: The challenge of adapting a classic is to resist the urge to remain 100% true to the original. Because if you’re 100% true to the original, there’s no point in doing an adaptation. The most important thing is that you have to free yourself from the obligation of being completely true to the original text. I enjoy working with the actors and watching the actors bring the words to life. Last year I wrote this thing in 4 days but knowing that we have such great actors, I knew a lot would be discovered in a rehearsal.
Q: What aspect of Dickens’ story do you feel this particular adaptation of A Christmas Carol captures/sheds light on that others may overlook?
A: I think this piece gives Scrooge a greater chance to opine about Christmas in a fun, cynical way, more so than other adaptations.
A Christmas Carol, adapted by Buck Busfield, plays at B Street Theatre through December 31. Call the box office today to reserve your seat: (916) 443-5300 or visit us online.
Shop, cook, clean the house, host guests – I can’t speak for everyone else but I often find myself so wrapped up in the planning and executing of the Holiday Season that I forget what the months of November and December are truly meant to inspire.
And things are no different here at the B Street Theatre! We’re currently runningA Christmas Carol adapted by Buck Busfield on our Mainstage and Robin Hood by Greg Banks on our Family Series Stage. Not to mention the B Street School Tour is out on the road, our teaching artists are engaging in workshops at schools throughout the region and we’re in the midst of construction for our new building on Capitol Avenue! Whew. I got tired just typing all of that.
But just as I was becoming overwhelmed and the Holidays began to fill me with a sense of dread, I was reminded of the many things I, and B Street, have to be thankful for including:
B Street’s Christmas Tree in the lobby. Not only did Bobbi and her staff provide their wonderful artistic talents, they also provided hundreds of beautiful ornaments! The tree greets all of our patrons coming to see A Christmas Carol and puts everyone in the holiday spirit.
About a month ago, we launched the Move Fund to help us move from our current location at 27th and B Street to our new, state-of-the-art facility on Capitol Avenue. A move like this places many demands including requiring more staff and resources to make sure the transition into our new facility is smooth. But thanks to our amazing donors, since launching the Move Fund in October, we’ve raised over $200,000! It is so wonderful to feel the overwhelming community support from all of you who want to see this project complete.
Okay, here’s where it gets personal. 3 years ago, I moved from Charlotte, North Carolina to Sacramento to be an intern at B Street Theatre. An 8-month internship turned into a full-time job which has now transformed into almost 4 years of working for this wonderful company. However, sometimes it’s difficult to be so far away from my East Coast home, especially during the Holidays. This Thanksgiving, I will be hosting the current Intern Company – as well as a few B Street Staff and Company Members – at my apartment for Thanksgiving Dinner. It’s times like these when I’m reminded of how thankful I am to have an extended family through B Street Theatre.
Now that I’ve started the list of things I’m thankful for, I’ve realized I could go on for days. But for your sake, I won’t. I’ve got to get ready for B Street Thanksgiving Dinner. And if you’re feeling overwhelmed this Holiday Season just remember, it could be worse. You could be the turkey.
Happy Thanksgiving! Leave a comment and let me know what you’re thankful for during this Holiday Season.