Douglas Rowe, actor and artistic director of Ashland New Plays Festival, will show a surprising new side of an old friend when he reads "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" by Tom Mula at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the Ashland Springs Hotel.

Douglas Rowe, actor and artistic director of Ashland New Plays Festival, will show a surprising new side of an old friend when he reads "Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol" by Tom Mula at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4, and Wednesday, Dec. 18 at the Ashland Springs Hotel.

Everyone is familiar with the story and with Ebenezer Scrooge. But Marley is the first person mentioned in Dickens's classic tale: "Marley was dead, to begin with."

In this adaptation, when Marley finds himself in a very unsatisfactory afterlife, he seeks his own salvation by taking on the monumental task of redeeming that "squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, covetous old sinner" Scrooge. His adventures form the basis of this delightful reading by veteran actor Rowe, who was seen in "All the Way" and "As You Like It" last season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Admission on Dec. 4 costs $15, and it's $25 on Wednesday, Dec. 18. The second show is a champagne an dessert fundraiser that includes an ANPF Theatre Talk with Rowe in conversation with John Rose.

Tickets are available at ShowTix4U.com and Paddington Station, by calling 800-967-8167, or by emailing tickets@ashlandnewplays.org.

— Ryan Pfeil