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Two new holiday shows open at Aurora Theatre

‘A Christmas Carol,’ ‘The 12 Dates of Christmas’ hit the stage.

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As part of tradition, Anthony Rodriguez plays all characters in Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” a one-man show. (Photo: James Helms)

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Jaclyn Hofmann stars in “The 12 Dates of Christmas” at the Aurora Theatre. (Photo: Mark Hesselgrave)

LAWRENCEVILLE — Over at the Aurora Theatre, the holiday season has already began with its annual “Christmas Canteen.”

This weekend, the Lawrenceville venue opens two more shows: “A Christmas Carol” and “The 12 Dates of Christmas.”

For the seventh year, Aurora Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez is performing his one-man show, Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

“I cherish the relationships we’ve created with our patrons,” he said. “‘A Christmas Carol’ gives me the opportunity to fully engage with our audience in a shared theatrical experience. If you’ve never seen the show or have visited all six years, odds are you’ve been hugged, kissed, sat on, glittered, Scrooged or all of the above.”

Since it is only one actor on stage, Rodriguez focuses on the classic art of storytelling, using his voice and mannerisms to bring to life Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley and the memorable ghosts to teach the cranky man the true meaning of Christmas.

Held in the theater’s smaller Gwinnett Federal Credit Union Studio that seats 80 people, the intimate setting makes the audience feel like they are in the parlor listening to the tale, complete with special effects.

The one-man show runs through Dec. 22.

The story is adapted for the stage and directed by Tony Brown. Aurora Theatre will offer school groups the opportunity to enjoy this holiday classic. Schools may either visit Aurora Theatre or book a special touring version.

At a different time, “The 12 Dates of Christmas” by Ginna Hoben will be performed in the same smaller studio. The comedy follows the misadventures of the aptly named leading character, Mary (played by Jaclyn Hofmann).

“With the popularity of movies like ‘A Christmas Story’ and ‘Elf’ along with wildly popular plays like ‘The Santaland Dairies,’ it’s nice to be able to offer patrons a sharp and slightly more adult take on the holidays with “The 12 Dates of Christmas’” Rodriguez said.

While watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Mary sees her fiancé kiss another woman on TV. Over the next year, Mary works her way back into the dating scene.

The show runs through Dec. 21.

Tickets for both shows are $15. For dates and times, visit www.auroratheatre.com.