Upcoming Productions

CC 2019 Richmond combo Handbill



          a ghost story for Christmas”

                 Told by the author

            Charles Dickens himself.

This Christmas come celebrate the holiday with 3 Penny Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol.  Everyone knows Scrooge’s story but you’ve never seen it told like this before -professional actor Ray Carver, as Scrooge’s creator Charles Dickens, tells the tale of the old miser playing all the characters himself — from Scrooge to the ghosts to the whole Crachit family, including Tiny Tim.  Over 40 different characters in all!   Chicago’s Writer To Writer magazine editor Barbra Croft says Carver presents this classic story as “a ripping good yarn.”  The Minneapolis Star-Tribune says Carver’s work “catches the essence”.

“A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story for Christmas” is a two performances only event!– Friday December 6 at 7 p.m. and Saturday December 7 at 7 p.m.  The performances are at the Gayton Kirk Presbyterian Church in Richmond’s far west end – 11421 Gayton Road, Henrico, VA 23238.    Bring the family, this production is appropriate for children 5 and above.

Get your tickets before they sell out! 

Email 3pennyplays@gmail.com today!



Click Below!


“A Christmas Carol”


Ray Carver Headshot

Ray Carver — PERFORMER

Working in the Midwest, Ray founded two small theaters and had his acting classes featured on public television.  In Minnesota’s Twin Cities he worked as a director and designer for several of the many theaters in Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area.  He is also a playwright, whose published plays are used in schools across the country.  Three of his plays, based on works by Mark Twain, are part of the collection of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.


Ryans Schuyler photo


Ryan is an educator who remembers how important the arts were for him in school as a way to express himself.  He is out to ignite that spark in his own students by leading with his own example of getting involved in helping to create theatre in Richmond.



“A Christmas Carol:

a ghost story for Christmas”

Ticket Policy


            Including Charles Dickens’, Scrooge’s creator, trip to Richmond in 1842!  Find out more about his visit to RVA below.

Click on the link below to find out more about when A Christmas Carol was published– from History.


Click on the link below to find out more about A Christmas Carol — from the British Library.


Click on the link below to find out more about A Christmas Carol — from the Charles Dickens Page.


Click on the link below to see Dickens’ manuscript of A Christmas Carol — from the Morgan Library in New York City.


Click on the link below to read A Christmas Carol — from the Library of Congress.


Click on the link below to listen to A Christmas Carol — from the BBC School Radio.


How To Make A Plum Pudding

Click on the links below to find recipes for plum pudding — from the BBC, James Beard, Martha Stewart, What’s Cooking, America, the Food Network, Taste of Home, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury.









More About Dickens’ 1842 Visit to Richmond, Virginia

Click on the link below to Richmond’s Valentine  Museum to find out more about Dickens’ visit to Richmond, Va.


Click on the link below to The Charles Dickens Page to find out more about Dickens’ 1842 and 1867 trips to the United States.


Below is what Dickens wrote in his book American Notes about coming to RVA and visiting the city.

“This singular kind of coaching terminates at Fredericksburgh, whence there is a railway to Richmond. The tract of country through which it takes its course was once productive; but the soil has been exhausted by the system of employing a great amount of slave labour in forcing crops, without strengthening the land: and it is now little better than a sandy desert overgrown with trees. Dreary and uninteresting as its aspect is, I was glad to the heart to find anything on which one of the curses of this horrible institution has fallen; and had greater pleasure in contemplating the withered ground, than the richest and most thriving cultivation in the same place could possibly have afforded me.

In this district, as in all others where slavery sits brooding, (I have frequently heard this admitted, even by those who are its warmest advocates:) there is an air of ruin and decay abroad, which is inseparable from the system. The barns and outhouses are mouldering away; the sheds are patched and half roofless; the log cabins (built in Virginia with external chimneys made of clay or wood) are squalid in the last degree. There is no look of decent comfort anywhere. The miserable stations by the railway side, the great wild wood-yards, whence the engine is supplied with fuel; the negro children rolling on the ground before the cabin doors, with dogs and pigs; the biped beasts of burden slinking past: gloom and dejection are upon them all.

In the negro car belonging to the train in which we made this journey, were a mother and her children who had just been purchased; the husband and father being left behind with their old owner. The children cried the whole way, and the mother was misery’s picture. The champion of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, who had bought them, rode in the same train; and, every time we stopped, got down to see that they were safe. The black in Sinbad’s Travels with one eye in the middle of his forehead which shone like a burning coal, was nature’s aristocrat compared with this white gentleman.

It was between six and seven o’clock in the evening, when we drove to the hotel: in front of which, and on the top of the broad flight of steps leading to the door, two or three citizens were balancing themselves on rocking-chairs, and smoking cigars. We found it a very large and elegant establishment, and were as well entertained as travellers need desire to be. The climate being a thirsty one, there was never, at any hour of the day, a scarcity of loungers in the spacious bar, or a cessation of the mixing of cool liquors: but they were a merrier people here, and had musical instruments playing to them o’ nights, which it was a treat to hear again.

The next day, and the next, we rode and walked about the town, which is delightfully situated on eight hills, overhanging James River; a sparkling stream, studded here and there with bright islands, or brawling over broken rocks. Although it was yet but the middle of March, the weather in this southern temperature was extremely warm; the peech-trees and magnolias were in full bloom; and the trees were green. In a low ground among the hills, is a valley known as ‘Bloody Run,’ from a terrible conflict with the Indians which once occurred there. It is a good place for such a struggle, and, like every other spot I saw associated with any legend of that wild people now so rapidly fading from the earth, interested me very much.

The city is the seat of the local parliament of Virginia; and in its shady legislative halls, some orators were drowsily holding forth to the hot noon day. By dint of constant repetition, however, these constitutional sights had very little more interest for me than so many parochial vestries; and I was glad to exchange this one for a lounge in a well-arranged public library of some ten thousand volumes, and a visit to a tobacco manufactory, where the workmen are all slaves.

I saw in this place the whole process of picking, rolling, pressing, drying, packing in casks, and branding. All the tobacco thus dealt with, was in course of manufacture for chewing; and one would have supposed there was enough in that one storehouse to have filled even the comprehensive jaws of America. In this form, the weed looks like the oil-cake on which we fatten cattle; and even without reference to its consequences, is sufficiently uninviting.

Many of the workmen appeared to be strong men, and it is hardly necessary to add that they were all labouring quietly, then. After two o’clock in the day, they are allowed to sing, a certain number at a time. The hour striking while I was there, some twenty sang a hymn in parts, and sang it by no means ill; pursuing their work meanwhile. A bell rang as I was about to leave, and they all poured forth into a building on the opposite side of the street to dinner. I said several times that I should like to see them at their meal; but as the gentleman to whom I mentioned this desire appeared to be suddenly taken rather deaf, I did not pursue the request. Of their appearance I shall have something to say, presently.

On the following day, I visited a plantation or farm, of about twelve hundred acres, on the opposite bank of the river. Here again, although I went down with the owner of the estate, to ‘the quarter,’ as that part of it in which the slaves live is called, I was not invited to enter into any of their huts. All I saw of them, was, that they were very crazy, wretched cabins, near to which groups of half-naked children basked in the sun, or wallowed on the dusty ground. But I believe that this gentleman is a considerate and excellent master, who inherited his fifty slaves, and is neither a buyer nor a seller of human stock; and I am sure, from my own observation and conviction, that he is a kind-hearted, worthy man.

The planter’s house was an airy, rustic dwelling, that brought Defoe’s description of such places strongly to my recollection. The day was very warm, but the blinds being all closed, and the windows and doors set wide open, a shady coolness rustled through the rooms, which was exquisitely refreshing after the glare and heat without. Before the windows was an open piazza, where, in what they call the hot weather — whatever that may be — they sling hammocks, and drink and doze luxuriously. I do not know how their cool rejections may taste within the hammocks, but, having experience, I can report that, out of them, the mounds of ices and the bowls of mint-julep and sherry-cobbler they make in these latitudes, are refreshments never to be thought of afterwards, in summer, by those who would preserve contented minds.

There are two bridges across the river: one belongs to the railroad, and the other, which is a very crazy affair, is the private property of some old lady in the neighbourhood, who levies tolls upon the townspeople. Crossing this bridge, on my way back, I saw a notice painted on the gate, cautioning all persons to drive slowly: under a penalty, if the offender were a white man, of five dollars; if a negro, fifteen stripes.

The same decay and gloom that overhang the way by which it is approached, hover above the town of Richmond. There are pretty villas and cheerful houses in its streets, and Nature smiles upon the country round; but jostling its handsome residences, like slavery itself going hand in hand with many lofty virtues, are deplorable tenements, fences unrepaired, walls crumbling into ruinous heaps. Hinting gloomily at things below the surface, these, and many other tokens of the same description, force themselves upon the notice, and are remembered with depressing influence, when livelier features are forgotten.

To those who are happily unaccustomed to them, the countenances in the streets and labouring-places, too, are shocking. All men who know that there are laws against instructing slaves, of which the pains and penalties greatly exceed in their amount the fines imposed on those who maim and torture them, must be prepared to find their faces very low in the scale of intellectual expression. But the darkness — not of skin, but mind — which meets the stranger’s eye at every turn; the brutalizing and blotting out of all fairer characters traced by Nature’s hand; immeasurably outdo his worst belief. That travelled creation of the great satirist’s brain, who fresh from living among horses, peered from a high casement down upon his own kind with trembling horror, was scarcely more repelled and daunted by the sight, than those who look upon some of these faces for the first time must surely be.

I left the last of them behind me in the person of a wretched drudge, who, after running to and fro all day till midnight, and moping in his stealthy winks of sleep upon the stairs betweenwhiles, was washing the dark passages at four o’clock in the morning; and went upon my way with a grateful heart that I was not doomed to live where slavery was, and had never had my senses blunted to its wrongs and horrors in a slave-rocked cradle.”

The above excerpt from American Notes by Charles Dickens is from the University of Adelaide online ebook library.  To read the entire book click on the link below:







































































































































































































Molly Sweeney Preview updated with audience reviews!



                            MARCH 2019

molly sweeney art

MOLLY SWEENEY is part of

RVA’s Acts of Faith Theatre Festival




Click Below!

MOLLY SWEENEY – An Acts of Faith Fringe Event

In “MOLLY SWEENEY” Brian Friel, Ireland’s master storyteller (Dancing at Lughnasa, Translations, Philadelphia, Here I Come) has devised a riveting contemporary drama about our faith in medicine and the terrible consequences of a medical miracle.

Molly Sweeney of Ballybeg, Ireland has been blind since infancy, but that’s never kept her from living a full and happy life.  She’s known the world and nurtured her imagination through touch, sound, taste, and smell.  Molly is content in her world of darkness, but her husband, Frank, dreams his wife will see again. And when he finds a once famous star surgeon who agrees to attempt to restore his wife’s sight, Molly’s vision of her life is forever changed.  When the bandages come off can Molly “learn to see”? This fascinating journey plunges deeply into the secrets and hearts of three extraordinary characters who lower the veil and allow us into their very private lives.

“MOLLY SWEENEY” is based on Oliver Sacks’ medical case history “To See And Not See”.


“Molly Sweeney looks at what it really means to have sight”


“Molly Sweeney is one of Mr. Friel’s most remarkable plays”


“A deeply moving meditation on hope, change and despair, it’s a compelling piece of theater, one in which the ending applause is only the beginning of the play’s effects. . . . “Molly Sweeney” is an astonishing work, one that acutely examines its characters and asks us to make similar observations of ourselves. Not least important, it’s a highly entertaining play, often delivering laughs while posing its questions. Those laughs soon fade away, as laughs will. Those questions, however, stay with you.”


FAITH CONNECTION: Molly Sweeney” examines our faith that modern medicine will solve problems and not create new problems.



For the fifteenth straight year, Acts of Faith kicks off another remarkable season for faith in theatre.  Sustained by the support of a variety of faith communities and nearly every professional theatres in the greater Richmond area, this festival continues to be the largest faith-based theatre festival in the United States.

Rev. Alex Evans, pastor at Second Presbyterian Church, the convening sponsor of the Acts of Faith, says, “All of us connected to the Acts of Faith Festival are continuously enthused by the growing energy and sense of community that emerges from this intersection of faith and culture. People come together, engaged by top-quality dramatic productions, with thoughtful discussion that encourages reflection on important topics for faith and life. This, I believe, is metro Richmond at its very best – building civility, grace, conversation, and community. We are so delighted to be part of this continuing effort.”

Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith communities come together to sponsor The Acts of Faith Festival; while theatres that participate offer shows that reflect an even wider diversity of belief and tradition.  The ecumenical basis of the Acts of Faith Festival and the variety of stimulating and sometimes challenging shows, keeps the Acts of Faith going strong.

Find Out More At:  The Acts Of Faith Website



Molly Sweeney


Brian Friel — Author

From Wikipedia: 

Brian Patrick Friel (January 1929– 2 October 2015), born in OmaghNorthern Ireland, was a dramatist, short story writer and founder of the Field Day Theatre Company. He had been considered one of the greatest living English-language dramatists. He has been likened to an “Irish Chekhov and described as “the universally accented voice of Ireland”. His plays have been compared favourably to those of contemporaries such as Samuel BeckettArthur MillerHarold Pinter and Tennessee Williams.

Recognised for early works such as Philadelphia, Here I Come! and Faith Healer, Friel had 24 plays published in a career of more than a half-century. He was elected to the honorary position of Saoi of Aosdána. His plays were commonly produced on Broadway in New York City throughout this time, as well as in Ireland and the UK. In 1980 Friel co-founded Field Day Theatre Company and his play Translations was the company’s first production. With Field Day, Friel collaborated with Seamus Heaney, 1995 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature Heaney and Friel first became friends after Friel sent the young poet a letter following publication of his book Death of a Naturalist.

Friel was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the British Royal Society of Literature and the Irish Academy of Letters.  He was appointed to Seanad Éireann in 1987 and served until 1989. In later years, Dancing at Lughnasa reinvigorated Friel’s oeuvre, bringing him Tony Awards (including Best Play), the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. It was also adapted into a film, starring Meryl Streep, directed by Pat O’Connor, script by Frank McGuinness.



Mark Atkinson – FRANK SWEENEY

In 1985, Mark played one of the stylized Koken in Harold Prince’s production of Madama Butterfly at Chicago’s Lyric Opera. One evening, as he was coming to work, the stage manager approached him and said “Mr. Prince and I were talking about you today”. Mark’s little ears perked up as he waited to hear words of encouragement or advice from one of the greatest showmen of the twentieth century. The stage manager smiled and said “He said you seem like a nice guy”. Well, it was not what he expected, but he thought it was better than not being noticed, so Mark added the endorsement to the top of his theatrical resume, where it remains to this day. Over the years, Mark has worked with the Body Politic Theatre, The Chicago Theatre of the Deaf, The Dream Theatre, Bible Story Theatre, AnimArt Puppet Theatre, and The Acting Group in Holland Michigan. He is appearing in two 2019 Acts of Faith productions – Becky”s New Car at Chamberlayne Actors Theater (CAT) and Molly Sweeney at 3 Penny Theatre.


Ray Carver Headshot

Ray Carver — Director and MR. RICE
Working in the Midwest, Ray founded two small theaters and had his acting classes featured on public television.  In Minnesota’s Twin Cities he worked as a director and designer for several of the many theaters in Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area.  He is also a playwright, whose published plays are used in schools across the country.  Three of his plays, based on works by Mark Twain, are part of the collection of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.


CAT Ripcord Headshots - Daryll Morgan Photography-2


Ann Graham Davis is thrilled to be a part of the 3 Penny Theatre company, where she has performed in HorrorsHunchback of Notre Dame, Later Life, and Witch!. Ann will be directing two 2019 Acts of Faith productions — Becky’s New Car at CAT Theatre and A Red Plaid Shirt for River City Community Players — and appearing in a third Acts of Faith show – Molly Sweeney.   Recently she’s been on the stage at CAT Theatre in Ripcord and The Diviners. She has also directed there with When There’s a Will and the Red Eye 10s International Play Festival for three years. Ann is the Artistic Director of River City Community Players (formerly Huguenot Community Players) where she has directed A Little Piece of Heaven; Sylvia; The Gift ExchangeThe Dining Room; Christmas with the Goblins; Driving Miss Daisy; and Steel Magnolias; and acted in Mrs. Parliament’s Night Out; On Golden Pond; Our Town; Kiss the Moon, Kiss the Sun; Harvey; and Rednecks, White Gloves and Blue Suede Shoe. She has also acted with On-the-Air Radio Players and Whistle Stop Theatre. Many, many years ago Ann worked at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, Florida Studio Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and Ohio Valley Summer Theatre.


Ryans Schuyler photo

Ryan Schuyler — LIGHTING and SOUND
Ryan is an educator who remembers how important the arts were for him in school as a way to express himself.  He is out to ignite that spark in his own students by leading with his own example of getting involved in helping to create theatre in Richmond.



Molly Sweeney

molly sweeney ticket policy















October 26 & 27 2018 


Witch Poster Portrait 1 weekend 2018

“Witch!”, a new play by Ray Carver, is a Halloween tale of olde New England set in Essex Village, Massachusetts in 1692.  It tells the story of Bess, a young woman who lost her family in an Indian massacre and is taken in by the good people of Essex.  Soon, though, signs of satanic magic start appearing and Essex is plunged into a search for witches.  “Witch!” weaves together Nathaniel Hawthorn’s stories and the latest scholarship on the Salem Witch Trials to create an exciting spine-chilling October evening of theatre.  




Ray Carver Headshot


Working in the Midwest, Ray founded two small theaters and had his acting classes featured on public television.  In Minnesota’s Twin Cities he worked as a director and designer for several of the many theaters in Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area.  He is also a playwright, whose published plays are used in schools across the country.  Three of his plays, based on works by Mark Twain, are part of the collection of the Mark Twain Boyhood Home Museum in Hannibal, Missouri.

CAT Ripcord Headshots - Daryll Morgan Photography-2


Ann has worked at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, Florida Studio Theatre, the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, and Ohio Valley Summer Theatre. Currently, she is the Artistic Director of River City Community Players and on the board of RVA’s CAT Theatre.  Her upcoming projects are directing “Becky’s New Car” for CAT Theatre, “A Red Plaid Shirt” for River City Community Players, and appearing in “Molly Sweeney” at 3 Penny Theatre.

Annie Zannetti photo Annie Zannetti — ACTOR and DRAMATURG

Annie Zannetti has appeared on stages all over RVA including Firehouse Theater, Hattheatre, Richmond Triangle Players, and toured nationally with Theatre IV.  Broadway World.com said of her performance in RTP’s production of Noel Coward’s “Design For Living”, “Annie Zannetti who steals the spotlight at times with her hilarious and diametrically opposed characters of a cockney maid and a New York socialite.”

Annie has very much enjoyed the collaborative experience of creating “Witch!” with Ann and Ray. She was recently seen in Bifocals’ production of The Poetry Recital and Fancy Hat Society, which she also directed. Other recent credits include the Ashland Summer Theatre Festival with The Whistle Stop Theatre and Bifocals’ Grandpappy’s Farm.



“Witch!” is based on stories by Nathaniel Hawthorne and the actual history of the New England Witch Trials.  Find out more about at the following websites:

100 Best Horror Novels and Stories (Hawthorne is on the list) from NPR.org



Salem Witch Trials Documentary Archive and Transcription Project  from the University of Virginia



The Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 and “Young Goodman Brown” from Hawthorne in Salem




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