For more than 30 years, Tony Lentz has used what he called a "powerful" medium to give a performance of the beloved Christmas tale, "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens.
That medium is storytelling.
"If you tell a good story and do it with feeling, people compile what's going on in their imagination," he said.
Tony Lentz acts out a scene from “A Christmas Carol” during a performance in 2010.
A woman once came up to him after a performance and asked what he had done to her through his performance, and he answered that it was not him. He merely supported her imagination, he said.
The retired Penn State University instructor of communication arts and sciences will once again awaken the imaginations of audience members with a performance of his one-man show at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Attic at the State Theatre in?State College.
Tickets are $5, with proceeds benefiting The State Theatre.
If you go
What: Tony Lentz's one-man show of "A Christmas Carol," by Charles Dickens
When: 2 p.m. Saturday
Where: The Attic at The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
Tickets: Tickets are $5 with proceeds benefiting The State Theatre
"This is the 35th year Dr. Lentz has been performing his one-man show of 'The Christmas Carol,' and the State Theatre is absolutely thrilled to have him perform in the Attic at the State Theatre," said the theater's marketing director, Cathy Brown. "The Attic at the State Theatre is a very intimate performing space which allows for a very touching and personal performance."
When he was a freshman college student in 1965, Lentz saw professor Earl Wynn give the performance at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lentz said he decided to carry on the "wonderful tradition" when he later ended up teaching oral interpretation.
The first year Lentz did a show, several people came in, looked at him dressed in his tuxedo tails and headed back out the door, he said.
Today, the show is a tradition.
"The show's popularity is due for many reasons," Brown said. "It's a traditional classic presented in a new way many have not seen, with one very talented person playing multiple characters. Lastly, it offers a message people never grow [tired of] hearing: That it is never too late to see the value and beauty in the simple joys around you, and the real happiness in Christmas, as well as in life, comes from giving rather than receiving."
Lentz also had a heartfelt take on the meaning behind the story.
"Little by little, he turns into a human being," Lentz said of Scrooge. "It becomes a very uplifting story about the choices you make in life. The moral of the story is that life can be joyous whatever our situation, if we choose to make it so."
Christmas is a happy time, Lentz said.
"Say 'Merry Christmas,' give gifts and value human connection," he said.
Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.