Antioch’s Frank Ballesteros performs as Scrooge in Humbug! for over 40 years – begins tonight

Frank Ballesteros in his Ebenezer Scrooge costume for the Humbug play at the Dec. 13, 2022, Antioch City Council meeting where he was honored. Photo by Allen D. Payton

City council proclaims this week in his honor

By Allen D. Payton

Since 1978, Antioch resident Frank Ballesteros has been performing as the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in and directing “Humbug!”, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 novella entitled, “A Christmas Carol”. This year, the performances will be held at 300 G Street in Antioch’s historic, downtown Rivertown beginning tonight, Friday, Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and run through Christmas Eve, Saturday, Dec. 24 at 1:00 p.m. Tickets are available at the door for Adults: $10.00, Seniors: $7.00 and Children 7-12: $5.00. (See complete performance schedule, below)

Now called Madd Hatter Players, formerly Antioch Storyland Theater, then Frank Ballesteros Productions and Antioch Children’s Theater, he has been teaching acting skills to children and adults and holding performances of various plays since 1968.

“I’ve always loved the classic movie ‘A Christmas Carol’, the 1954 version,” he said.” We used to watch it every year. Then George C. Scott played the part of Scrooge in the 1980’s adaptation.”

“Then I put in the Christian message. Instead of Scrooge accepting Christmas, in my show, Scrooge accepts Christ, which is the same as the message of Christmas,” Ballesteros shared. “No one has ever been offended in the 40 years, that it’s not the original story. Charles Dickens did that when he had Scrooge say, ‘I want to follow that star to Bethelehem’.”

Throughout the year he and his theater group perform other plays, like a murder mystery earlier this year, and fairy tales. He will be working on Snow White immediately after the holidays.

“I decided to do the children’s theater classics such as Snow White with women in the main role,” Ballesteros explained. “Some of these women are gorgeous. This gives a handsome young man in his 30’s or 40’s to play a prince or a young woman in her 30’s or 40’s to play a princess. They’re not too old.”

“We let the public know that Madd Hatter players presents the plays as age 30+,” he continued. But Humbug! is for all ages with both children and adults.

“The majority of the children in the cast are from Elite Dance Academy in Antioch who play the part of Cratchit’s children,” Ballesteros stated.

On Tuesday night, Dec. 13, the Antioch City Council honored Ballesteros naming this week as “Frank E. Ballesteros ‘Humbug’ Week” in the city. Antioch City Council Frank E Ballesteros Humbug Week Proclamation 12-13-22

In Honor of



December 12-19, 2022

WHEREAS, Frank E. Ballesteros has been providing the opportunity to learn acting skills for hundreds of aspiring children and adults in Antioch for over 40 years;

WHEREAS, Frank has directed and mentored citizens of Antioch and has provided lifelong memories that they continue to remember and share with their families and friends;

WHEREAS, since 1978, he has directed and performed as “Scrooge” in his production of “Humbug” here in the City of Antioch;

WHEREAS, during the Christmas season, Frank E. Ballesteros has brought his production of “Humbug” to Antioch, which illustrates the meaning of Christmas and leaves those in attendance, cheerful and warm-hearted for the entire Season; and

WHEREAS, the 2022 production of “Humbug” will start on December 16th and run through December 24th, performing at 300 G Street in Antioch.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, LAMAR A. THORPE, Mayor of the City of Antioch, do hereby proclaim the week of December 12th to 19th, 2022, as “Frank E. Ballesteros ‘Humbug’ Week”, and encourages its citizens to come out and see the production during this Holiday season.

DECEMBER 13, 2022


For those who would like to be part of one or more of Ballesteros’ plays including the upcoming Snow White play contact him at (925) 966-2724 or by email at

the attachments to this post:

Antioch City Council Frank E Ballesteros Humbug Week Proclamation 12-13-22

Frank Ballesteros

No Comments so far.

Leave a Reply