Valley Shakespeare Festival will take its audiences to another world on Dec. 11 and 12. \u00a0Presented without elaborate period costuming and staging, VSF\u2019s production puts the emphasis on the true meaning of the story. Jeremy Funke (Scrooge) explains \u201cWhat I like best about VSF\u2019s stripped-down presentation of this classic tale is that it forces the audience to focus on the story-the audience\u2019s imagination is our special effects designer, and I can\u2019t think of a better way for them to experience it.\u201d Audience members will join Ebenezer Scrooge on his transformational journey through his own personal darkness of bitterness and disillusion on that fateful Christmas Eve and emerge with him on that brilliant Christmas morning with renewed faith in God and humanity. Tom Simonetti, the company\u2019s Executive and Artistic Director (and Bob Cratchit), echoes this sentiment,\u201cThe story is powerful enough on its own not to need all kinds of embellishment. \u00a0I love to see the children\u2019s and families\u2019 reactions to Jacob Marley\u2019s chains, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge\u2019s last speech. \u00a0It\u2019s a story that needs to be told because it reminds us of the kind of people we should be all year long. \u00a0It\u2019s exactly what we need.\u201d Gary Harger, who will be playing multiple roles, is \u201clooking forward to coming up with three distinct characterizations, accents, mannerisms, etc. \u00a0I\u2019ve always loved the story\u2026ever since I was a kid, and although there are many film and musical versions out there now, my favorite is still the 1951 film version with Alistair Sim-the one I watched when I was a kid!\u201d Valley Shakespeare Festival will present it staged reading of \u201cA Christmas Carol\u201d in the Plumb Library\u2019s Reading \u00a0Room, which Simonetti describes as a \u201cdream venue\u201d for the story. \u201cIt reflects the time period perfectly with its Romanesque style, huge fireplace and Victorian wing chairs.\u201d Anyone wishing to come and experience this memorable moment in history may reserve seats by calling Valley Shakespeare Festival at 203-513-9446 or by visiting www.vsfestival.org. The event is presented free of charge with a suggested donation of $10 per person. \u00a0Seating is limited and reservations are encouraged. Valley Shakespeare Festival is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit theater company serving the communities of the lower Naugatuck Valley.