The Aurora Fox presents Second City’s

Twist Your Dickens

November 23 – December 23, 2018

Not Your Granny’s “Christmas Carol”! The Aurora Fox Arts Center promises a naughty, bawdy, irreverent spin on a holiday classic with The Second City’s “Twist Your Dickens”

The Aurora Fox Arts Center has announced casting for the Colorado regional premiere of The Second City’s holiday send up, TWIST YOUR DICKENS A perfect blend of scripted dialogue, sketch comedy and improvisational acting, The Second City’s “Twist Your Dickens” by former “Colbert Report” writers Peter Gwinn and Bobby Mort will bring together some of Colorado’s fiercest and funniest comedians, under the direction of nationally recognized director, fight choreographer and commedia dell’arte expert, Matthew R. Wilson.

Because of the unique comedic challenges a show like “Twist Your Dickens” presents, the Aurora Fox’s Executive Producer, Helen R. Murray, collaborated directly with the team at The Second City to identify Wilson as the right director for this project, and to assemble this all‐local cast of Colorado favorites. Erik Sandvold stars as Ebenezer Scrooge, while Sean Cummins, Ilasiea Gray, Seth Palmer Harris, Sara Milbrath, Charlie Schmidt and the inimitable comedic powerhouse, Jessica Austgen, play absolutely everyone else. In addition to the classic Dickensian characters you’ve come to expect, you’ll also see these actors’ take on George Bailey from “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the three wise men from the Nativity story and a collection of raucous holiday party guests from across the decades, among an array of wacky characters.

“The basic storyline we’ve all come to love is definitely still there,” says Murray, who took over leadership of the Aurora Fox Arts Center at the start of 2018. “But we’ve all seen it, right? And that’s what makes it so much fun when the timeless ghost story we think we know spins out of control and not only parodies “A Christmas Carol,” but also completely lampoons all the other holiday tropes and pop‐culture expectations we’ve come to look for at this time of year.”

Murray also says that the elements of improvisational acting and audience participation that the show includes will promise that no two performances of “Twist Your Dickens” will ever be the same. But be forewarned: this isn’t your Granny’s “Christmas Carol.” The mature themes and tart tongues featured in The Second City’s “Twist Your Dickens” have compelled Murray to put a content‐advisory on this show.

So leave the kiddos all snug in their beds, and while visions of sugar‐plums dance through their heads, get yourself down to the Aurora Fox Arts Center for some not‐so‐family‐friendly holiday fun!

The Second City’s “Twist Your Dickens” runs at the historic Aurora Fox Arts Center from Nov. 23 to Dec. 23. Call the box office at 303.739.1970 to reserve your seats, or to arrange a one‐of‐a‐kind “twisted” holiday party for your business or organization.


The Aurora Fox Arts Center is home to the award winning professional theatre company operated by the city of Aurora’s Cultural Services Division. The theatre is a member of the Actors’ Equity Association and includes two performance spaces. The Aurora Fox Arts Center is committed to diversity and inclusion in our selection of plays, our casting practices and our pursuit of theatrical innovation.


The Second City began as a small comedy theatre more than 50 years ago, and have grown to become today’s leading brand in improv‐based sketch comedy. With a variety of theatres, training centers and full‐time touring ensembles, you can find The Second City all over the world. Successful Second City alums include Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Chris Farley, Bill Murray, Steve Carell and many more of your favorite comedians.


Matthew R. Wilson is an internationally‐recognized expert on comic theatre and has adapted and directed physical comedy stagings of “A Commedia Christmas Carol” (Helen Hayes Award nomination, published by Playscripts, Inc.); “Our Town;” “A Commedia Romeo & Juliet;” and “Don Juan” (Helen Hayes Award nomination). He also tours the world with his own “The Great One‐Man Commedia Epic.” A member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Wilson has directed in New York City and his hometown of Washington, DC, where recent credits include “Act a Lady” (Hub Theatre); “One Man, Two Guvnors” (1st Stage); “Much Ado About Nothing” (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company); and “The Lieutenant of Inishmore” (Constellation Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination). Wilson holds an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting, and a PhD in Theatre & Performance Studies from the University of Maryland. He serves as an Associate Professor of Theatre at George Washington University’s Corcoran School of the Arts & Design.


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