WATERVILLE, ME – A Nebraska theater troupe got scrooged by a bus crash that led to the cancellation of its national tour of “A Christmas Carol.” Now performers are singing a different tune — they just want to be home for Christmas.
The Nebraska Theatre Caravan canceled its University of Maine performance Thursday night and remaining tour dates after a bus crash.
The theater company offered a stipend to help the cast and crew members to get home from Maine, a daunting task during the busy holiday travel season. A GoFundMe page was set up to help raise additional money for the troupe.
Police said the driver fell asleep before the crash Tuesday night on Interstate 95 near Waterville, Maine. Four people suffered injuries, and the driver was cited by state troopers.
The Nebraska Theatre Caravan is the professional touring company of the Omaha Community Playhouse.
Officials assessed the “physical and emotional health and well being” of the cast and crew before making the decision to cancel the tour, said Allyson Wagner, spokeswoman for the Omaha Community Playhouse. Injuries from the crash included a concussion and cracked ribs, she said.
The troupers were given $500 apiece to assist in changing their previously booked flights home, Wagner said. All of them will be paid for the entirety of the tour, which was supposed to wrap up Dec. 23 in Florida, she said.
The group used social media to thank the staff of a hospital, hotel and restaurant for assisting the troupers.