Around the Island

Friday Night Dialogues: Jenifer Maxson to Read Dickens in a special holiday treat

Fans of Tiny Tim, Ebenezer Scrooge and the rest of the timeless characters in “A Christmas Carol,” won’t want to miss a reading of the story by Jenifer Maxson on Friday, Dec. 20, at the Shelter Island Public Library. 

This next “Friday Night Dialogue,” to be held at 7 p.m. in the community room, will feature Ms. Maxson performing a special “readers’ version” of the story, the version that Dickens himself used in his own performances both in England and the United States.

The British loved “A Christmas Carol.” First published in England on Dec. 19, 1847, it sold out by Christmas Eve as Victorians embraced the tale of the old miser transformed into a more generous man as a result of four ghostly nighttime visitors on Christmas Eve. His late partner, Jacob Marley, appears to him first, weighed down in eternity by heavy chains. He announces that the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Yet-to-Come will be visiting Scrooge. Marley, who was as parsimonious and miserable as Scrooge now is, hopes to spare him a similar fate. Frightened — and sobered — by the revelations, Scrooge resolves to change his ways and embrace the joys of the season. He begins by making a surprise visit to the home of his dedicated clerk, Bob Cratchit, on Christmas Day. It is Cratchit’s crippled son, Tiny Tim, who utters the immortal line, “God bless us, everyone,” which he offers as a blessing at Christmas dinner. Dickens repeats the phrase at the conclusion of the book to underscore Scrooge’s change of heart.

Ms. Maxson is well-known to Shelter Island audiences. Since retiring from the Shelter Island School in 2012, where she taught and coached drama for over 25 years, she has appeared in theatrical productions such as “Bottoms Up,” “Red Hot Patriot,” “Love, Loss, and What I Wore” on both the Island and the surrounding area. In addition, she has written and performed her original, one-woman shows, “Coming of Age,” “Boomerology,” “7T” and “Writing Wrongs” in a variety of venues. Most recently, she appeared at Peconic Landing to reprise her role as Emily Dickinson in “The Belle of Amherst.” 

She has performed this special reading of “A Christmas Carol” during many holiday seasons, both on and off Shelter Island. 

Join us for this special evening of holiday cheer. Reservations are encouraged and donations are always appreciated. 

The following week, Friday, Dec. 27, will conclude Friday Night Dialogues for 2019. Diane Malcolmsom will be speaking on “For the Love of Horses,” also at 7 p.m.

Please call the library at 631-749-0042 for more information on both of these programs.