Monday, December 20, 2010

A Different Christmas Carol- NC Arts Everyday

A Different Christmas Carol- NC Arts Everyday

Salisbury native David zum Brunnen stars in Dr. Elliot Engel’s The Night Before Christmas Carol on UNC-TV, Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 10 p.m. The program, filmed on location in the State Library Room of the State Capitol Building in Raleigh brings viewers into Charles Dickens’ study on Friday, Oct. 13, 1843 to reveal his writing process and inspirations for his work. Engel, a scholar, author and playwright combines history and humor to tell the tale. View of a clip of the EbzB production at

About Dr. Elliot Engel

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Review: War Bonds

The Citizen Times, Scottsville, Kentucky - November 25, 2010

War Bonds: A DIRECT HIT - The North Carolina based husband-wife professional theatrical team of David zum Brunnen and Serena Ebhardt put on their nationally acclaimed show, "War Bonds," last Thursday at The Center for Courageous Kids. An event sponsored by the Allen County-Scottsville Arts Council in Kentucky.  With Ebhardt's Broadway caliber singing and zum Brunnen's oratory of original wartime letters from World War II veterans, War Bonds features the music and aura of history's greatest conflict.  The county's World War II veterans were admitted free to the dinner theater event.

Compliment: War Bonds

"War Bonds was a "BIG" hit in Scottsville, KY.  We had a sold out house and lots of WWII vets came and were honored.  It was fun for me to know the actors."   - Hannah Ryan, Presenter, Allen County-Scottsville Arts Council.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Jefferson Post - ‘Night Before Christmas Carol’ at Civic Center

Jefferson Post - ‘Night Before Christmas Carol’ at Civic Center

The Ashe Civic Center will come alive with the historically accurate and highly humorous theatre production of ‘The Night Before Christmas Carol’ on Friday, Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. Join your family and friends for the one night only performance and get into the holiday spirit.

Join Charles Dickens in his study for a very special night. On an evening in 1843 he creates his ghostly little classic, ‘A Christmas Carol.’ Actor David zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and seventeen familiar characters from the famous Christmas Carol. Renowned Dickens scholar, author, playwright and lecturer, Dr. Elliot Engel has crafted this entertaining work that complements the holiday season.

‘The Night Before Christmas Carol,’ sponsored by the Ashe County Arts Council is presented by EbzB Productions. Founded in 1998 by Serena Ebhardt and David zum Brunnen, EbzB is a North Carolina theatre company that specializes in simple and compelling productions that tells wonderful stories through the magic of theatre. The award-winning husband-wife, actor-manager team of Serena and David bring over forty years of experience to the stage. They have careers that have taken them from Off-Broadway to small regional theatre to schools on the east coast.

Celebrate the holidays with the Arts Council with a twist on a holiday classic! Reserve seating tickets are $12 adult and $5 students and are available at the Ashe Arts Center and by phone with a credit card at 336-846-ARTS.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Beaufort County Now in Washington NC » Upon the Stage » A Dickens of a Time

A Dickens of a Time

    In just about 60 minutes at the Turnage Theater, Friday night, December 3, 2010, we got a glimpse of who Charles Dickens was, and what possessed him to create his Christmas opus, "A Christmas Carol." I sat transfixed in my seat in the balcony of the renovated former theater, mesmerized by the palpable presentation of the one act, one man play "A Night Before Christmas Carol."

    "A Night Before Christmas Carol" is the brainchild of Elliot Engel, Charles Dickens scholar, who is published extensively on the subject, and this Friday night, through the actor's guise of David Zum Brunnen, we got a certain taste of who the writer was, who he is in message. And with Charles Dickens, it was always about the message.

    This was the night that we got a triple dose of it all: A history / social perspective of England in the early days of the Industrial Age, a personal perspective of the pathos, and alternating joy of the author, and to manifest it all through the living narrative of "A Christmas Carol."

    The actor, David Zum Brunnen, took the direction well of his wife and collaborator, Serena Ebhardt, and manically displayed the ego, laid bare, of the well-remembered author, who, in life, used his well-read-words to effect some measure of change in the grimy, coal dust times of his 19th Century England. “A Christmas Carol” was as much a statement of the social ills of the time in 1843 London, as it was a call to life, love and redemption. In the embodiment of Ebenezer Scrooge, we glimpsed the detached cruelty of London’s established wealthy class, rendered in the caricature of the Scrooge character, and how they might redeem themselves of such an evil burden.

   Ebenezer did redeem himself - "Scrooge was better than his word. He did it all, and infinitely more" - and he was the prototypical redeemed soul that is the basis of most uplifting stories. It is the better theme that keeps our hopes of a better world here at Christmas time, as we head into a new year that we always hope will be better than the last. In a time, as it is now, with so many out of work, losing their homes, and experiencing the tough change of a bad economy and bad policy, the story of the transformation of the miser-turned- philanthropist in the span of a night is the most uplifting of all. 

That was the purpose of this treatise of the transformational optimism from the despair of the spirit that transcended the desperate human condition of that daunting age. David Zum Brunnen's frenzied approach to Charles Dickens character in the throes of his creative spirit, symbolized the authors' need to break the bonds of the oppressive pessimism of the witnessed poor that dominated many of his long walks along the narrow, cobbled streets throughout London. As stated by the actor's character, "I will write a Christmas story to be bound and published modestly so that the poor families of London can have one book in their home that will bring them a measure of Christmas cheer."

 The beauty within this short one act play was its ability to convey the political soul of the author, his aspiration for sweeping societal transformation, while entertaining his audience with segments taken directly from the pages of "A Christmas Carol," and fleshed out by the actor as he interpreted how Dickens would have portrayed them. "A Christmas Carol," which is the best story of Christmas this side of the Apostle Luke's depiction of the birth of the Christ Child, was as much of an examination of the conflict that exists in Men's souls as it expression of the Miracle of Christmas. But isn't that it's all about ... anyway?

 As in all the pictures displayed within this article, the demonstrative actor, David Zum Brunnen, works his Charles Dickens into a near manic state as he hastily occupies separate marks on the stage to produce the story of an author, who had a big story to tell.

Local news briefs |

Night Before Christmas Carol - Lake Wales, Florida
Local news briefs |



  Please excuse my tardiness in sending you this message.  The delay in no way reduces the absolute joy that I felt in your presentation of "War Bonds."  People throughout the community still stop me on the street and in the stores to express their gratitude for that evening.  The reporter from the local newspaper summed it up with these words, "Pure class!"  This was, undoubtedly, one of the best received presentations that our arts council has ever sponsored.  So, on behalf of the council and the staff at the Center for Courageous Kids, please accept our deepest gratitude for a magnificent performance.
   On a personal note, I sincerely appreciate your cooperative spirit and warm personalities.  It was a pleasure to work with you.  I hope to do it again. Blessings!

Ken Goforth
P. S.  Our ticket sales allowed us to give the camp over $2,000.00 as their part of the proceeds.

The Night Before Christmas Carol Airs On Stations Across America 2010/12/02

Broadway World: The Night Before Christmas Carol Airs On Stations Across America 2010/12/02

Thursday, December 2, 2010

EbzB Productions’ The Night Before Christmas Carol Airing This Month On Public Broadcasting Stations Across America

EbzB Productions’ The Night Before Christmas Carol Airing This Month 
On Public Broadcasting Stations Across America

Apex, NC
  - EbzB Productions is delighted to announce the national distribution and television broadcast of Dr. Elliot Engel’s The Night Before Christmas Carol featuring David zum Brunnen.  The program, distributed by the National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA), will air this month on public television stations across America. To view the promotional clip, please visit

The Night Before Christmas Carol was filmed on location in the State Library Room of the State Capitol Building in Raleigh, North Carolina. Emmy Award winner, Scott H. Davis directs the film production. Stage Director: Serena Ebhardt; Director of Cinematography & Lighting: Warren Gentry; Production Crew: Jim Haverkamp, Don Mercz, and Marley Toben; Post-production editing: Warren Gentry & Associates, Inc.; Post-production sound mix: Anthony Fedele of Emmy Award winning Concentrix Music & Sound Design.

The Night Before Christmas Carol brings spectators into Charles Dickens’ study on Friday, the thirteenth of October 1843.  History, humor and the holiday come to life as Dickens reveals his writing process, uncloaking the personal inspirations for his work. Renowned scholar, author, and playwright Dr. Elliot Engel, crafts the entertaining character study, which delights holiday audiences of all ages. In this acclaimed performance, actor David zum Brunnen portrays Charles Dickens and 17 familiar characters; giving personal, social, and historical context to the ghostly classic, A Christmas Carol.   The “behind the scenes” discoveries renew the classic tale, bringing a fresh perspective to a family holiday tradition. The stage production is a staple of EbzB Productions’ theatrical touring repertoire.

The Night Before Christmas Carol is available on DVD at ($20).

Public Broadcasting Stations nationwide will feature The Night Before Christmas Carol during December 2010.  A partial schedule follows…

    * 11/25 & 11/28 WVPBS, West Virginia
    * 12/4 (8:30PM) and 12/5 (12:30PM) - NHPTV, New Hampshire
    * 12/12 (2PM) - APM, Arizona Public Media
    * 12/12  - KCSM, San Mateo, California (San Fran/Bay Area, California)
    * 12/12 - WSIU, Carbondale, Illiinois
    * 12/12 - 11PM  KMOS-TV (central Missouri)
    * 12/13 (10PM) & 12/24 (10PM) - WQED, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    * 12/13 & 12/24 -  NJN, New Jersey
    * 12/13 - 9PM LPB (Louisiana Public Broadcasting); also 12/20 11AM, & 12/24 8AM
    * 12/13 - KENW - Albequerque NM/Eastern NM Univ., Portales, NM
    * 12/14- WNED-TV, Buffalo, NY
      12/19, 2PM, WPBS - Upstate NY & Ontario, Canada
      12/19, 7PM - UEN-TV, Utah Education Network
    * 12/19 (4PM) (& 12/1, 12/14, 12/21 & 12/22 - 4AM) - KET, Kentucky Educational TV
    * 12/19 (11PM) - MPTV, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
    * 12/19 - WQPT 4:30PM, Moline, IL (Eastern IA/Western IL)
    * 12/20 - 8PM, KLCS-TV, Los Angeles, CA
    * 12/20 (7PM) - KTEH, San Jose, California
    * 12/20 (8PM) - KLRU, Texas
    * 12/20 & 12/21 - KQED/KTEH, N. Cal/SF/Bay Area, California
    * 12/22 (10PM) – UNC TV, North Carolina
    * 12/22, 9PM, KTXT - Lubbock, TX/Texas Tech Univ.
    * 12/23, 8PM KAKM - Alaska
    * 12/24, 12Noon - KPTS, Wichita, KS
    * 12/24, 9PM KRWG, Las Cruces, NM/West Texas
    * 12/24 - CPTV, Colorado
    * 12/24 - IPTV, Idaho
    * 12/24 – (9:30 p.m.) WPSU, University Park, Pennsylvania
    * 12/24  - WNMU, Marquette/Northern Michigan
    * 12/25 – SDPB, South Dakota
    * 12/25 – (11PM) Sistema TV, Puerto Rico

    * Please check your local listings for specific dates and times.