One of the most popular tales in the English Language, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” is coming to Belfast Maskers Waterfront Theater, 43 Front St. John Bielenberg’s innovative adaptation is an ensemble piece with a small cast. Those interested in auditioning at the theater Saturday, Oct. 16 at 10 a.m. also are invited to join the Maskers in an initial reading of the work Wednesday, Oct. 13 at 6:30 p.m.

In this variation of the classic story a group of actors, bound for a brush-up rehearsal before a performance of “A Christmas Carol” at a local theater, stop at the home of a fellow actor and actress for a Christmas toast and snacks. They discover that a young child who has looked forward for weeks to seeing the show has been  forbidden by her doctor to attend. She is heartbroken so, despite the fact that all of the “cast” members are not present, they decide to  do the play for the child in her bedroom.

Actors in the show will initially play themselves and then morph into the various Dickens characters as the play progresses. The little child is seven or eight years old; a woman who shows up to baby-sit is middle-aged; two of the actors are teenagers or young adults; and the other six to eight actors are a mixture of ages and genders. Performers do not have to be the perfect “types” for all of the roles they play as they are, after all, making do and filling in for absent cast members.

“A Christmas Carol” will open on Thanksgiving weekend and run Thursdays through Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 5. Bielenberg will direct. For more information, call 338-9668 or visit belfastmaskers.com.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to dernest@villagesoup.com.