The Clarence Brown Theatre will kick-off its annual showing of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" this Thursday with a new focus this year on set design and costumes.

The theatre has been showing the play for the last five years, and has incorporated a new addition or feature every year to keep the audience interested.

"When I began working on this with the designers, we choose the idea of shaking a snow globe and seeing the world inside that snow globe," Casey Sams, play director and associate professor of theatre, said. "One of the things that means for the set is that there will be lots of snow."

In addition to a new, snowy backdrop, the costumes this year will also feature a more modern twist to the classic play.

Bill Black, the costume designer for the play, has worked at the Clarence Brown Theatre for more than 35 years, designing and directing the production of costumes.

"In this adaptation, while the costumes are still traditionally Victorian, the colors are brighter and the costumes will look more like a Christmas card," Black said. "I've chosen colors like red, green, blue and gold to illustrate that these characters are striving to find the joy in their lives as opposed to focusing on the despair."

This year's production will also focus more on the individual journey that Ebenezer Scrooge endures as he transforms his lonely, isolated life into one of happiness and prosperity.

"It's his trip from being closed off and isolated from the world around him to a place where he can see and share in the beauty, generosity and joy that is around him," Sams said.

The play was written by Charles Dickens in 1843 and is still regarded by some as a holiday classic. "A Christmas Carol" tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge's journey through Christmas past, present and future.

"The play is a timeless classic that makes you think about what the holidays really mean," Robin Conklin, marketing director for Clarence Brown Theatre, said.

The production features a talented cast of 30 musicians and actors. The actors consist of UT Theatre faculty professional actors, UT graduate and undergraduate student actors, actors from the community and other visiting guest actors. Ebenezer Scrooge will be played by David Kortemeier, a guest actor who has also performed in productions such as "Sweeney Todd" and "The Music Man." Another leading performer is Thomas Anthony Quinn, who teaches acting at Wesleyan University in Connecticut and has been performing for over 30 years. Quinn will play the role of Jacob Marley, Scrooge's business partner.

"People should come to the production because it's an all new version of the story and we think the audience is going to love it," Conklin said.

The first performance takes place this Thursday at 7:30 p.m. The production will run at the Clarence Brown Theatre through Dec. 23. All UT faculty, staff and students will receive discounts on tickets. Tickets can be purchases online at www.clarencebrowntheatre.com or at the Clarence Brown Theatre box office at 865-974-5161.