A Christmas Carol has delighted audiences and become one of Chicago’s most beloved holiday traditions since it was first performed in 1978 at the Goodman’s original location at the Art Institute of Chicago. The holiday show has been seen by nearly 1.5 million people and hosted 10 directors, 33 Tiny Tims and eight Ebenezer Scrooges who collectively have uttered nearly 23,000 “Bah, humbugs!”

acc_timeline_onstage_011978
To attract audiences during the traditionally slow holiday season, Goodman Theatre General Manager (now Executive Director) Roche Schulfer and then-Artistic Director Gregory Mosher  mount a stage version of the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol. Using an adaptation by Guthrie Theater Dramaturg Barbara Field and directed by Tony Mockus, the production is the Goodman’s most ambitious project to date and features noted Chicago actor William J. Norris as Scrooge. The production is a critical and audience triumph and is brought back in 1979 for the first of its now-annual revivals. Norris would play Scrooge for 11 seasons, more than any other actor in the show’s 39-year run.

1984
For the first (and only) time in its history, the Goodman production moves to the Auditorium Theatre, featuring a new Scrooge (Frank Galati), a new script (by Larry Sloan) and a new production under the direction of Gregory Mosher. In addition, this iteration inaugurates color-blind and inclusive casting, which continues today.

acc_timeline_onstage_021985
The production returns to the Goodman stage with Sandra Grand directing and Norris once again playing Scrooge. The production also returns with the original scenic design by Joseph Nieminski and lighting design by Robert Christen, who would design lighting for every production of A Christmas Carol until his untimely death in 2014.

1987
Now under the direction of Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio, the production celebrates its 10th anniversary. For the first time A Christmas Carol helps to raise funds for Season of Concern, the theater industry charity that provides assistance for theater artists dealing with catastrophic illness and other medical emergencies; this fundraising effort becomes an annual tradition for the show.

acc_timeline_onstage_031989
Goodman Theatre Associate Producer (now Producer) Steve Scott takes over the production as director, with a new adaptation by Goodman Dramaturg Tom Creamer. This adaptation is used today.

1991
Norris deeds his whiskers to a new Scrooge, Tom Mula, who will stay with the production for six seasons. Norris remains with the production for a number of seasons, eventually playing Jacob Marley, Mr. Ortle and the joyful Mr. Fezziwig.

1993
Scott passes the directing torch to Resident Director Chuck Smith, who helms the production for three years.

acc_timeline_onstage_041996
Resident Artistic Associate Henry Godinez begins a six-year tenure as director of the production, helping the show make its transition from the old Goodman Theatre to its new and current home on Dearborn Street. Godinez is not new to the show, however; as an actor he appeared as Fred, Scrooge’s nephew, in 1987. Other seasons’ casts have also included Godinez’s wife, actress Nancy Voigts, and their daughter Lucy.

1998
Mula steps down as Scrooge to perform his one-man version of the story, Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol, in the Goodman Studio for two seasons. He is replaced by veteran actor Rick Snyder, who previously appeared as Bob Cratchit in 1992.

acc_timeline_onstage_072000
The closing night of A Christmas Carol marks the final performance in the old Goodman Theatre, with the current cast being joined on stage by dozens of veterans of previous productions.

2001
Godinez helms a glittering new production in the Goodman’s new Albert Theatre, featuring a massive set by Tony Award-winning designer Todd Rosenthal; this set is still used today with continuous technological upgrades and adjustments.

2002
Kate Buckley becomes the new director of the production, bringing with her a new Scrooge, William Brown.

acc_timeline_onstage_082006
Scrooge becomes the director! Brown takes the directing reigns from Buckley and will hold the position for four seasons. Brown casts Jonathan Weir as Scrooge.

2007
Chicago actor Larry Yando takes over the iconic role of Scrooge alongside Ron E. Rains as Bob Cratchit; aside from a hiatus in 2010, Yando has appeared in the role ever since.

acc_timeline_onstage_102010
While Yando travels to Boston with the Goodman production of Candide, veteran actor John Judd steps into the role of Scrooge.

2011
Scott returns to the production as director for two seasons, with Yando once again playing Scrooge.

2013
The Goodman’s newest Artistic Associate, Henry Wishcamper, becomes director of the production and institutes a new era for A Christmas Carol. Wishcamper’s production features a redesigned Scrooge bedroom unit, as well as more chilling ghost effects.

2014
Goodman Theatre celebrates its 90th Anniversary Season and its 37th production of A Christmas Carol.

acc_timeline_onstage_122016
The story continues with you! Thank you for coming to celebrate the holidays!