For the past 25 years, Goodman Theatre Women’s Board President Cynthia K. Scholl has made A Christmas Carol a family tradition, together with her husband, Michael, and four children. Here, she reflects on their love of the play—and why it is an Essential presence in Chicago.


“Attending A Christmas Carol reminds my family that Christmas is a time to share, a time to forgive and a time to continue to look for the good in others. To see this timeless story on the beautiful Goodman Theatre stage is a gift for all of Chicago. We are lucky to be a part of this great tradition.

Every year on the Sunday before Christmas, we attend the matinee performance as a family—and then go to dinner, where we completely dissect the play! Our kids love pointing out the differences from one year to the next, and I’m amazed at all the nuances of particular performances that they can remember! There were a few teenage years when some thought they were a little ‘too cool for Scrooge,’ but now that they are all adults, our family treasures this tradition more than ever.

My favorite scene may be one of the darkest, but it always moves me when Scrooge encounters Ignorance and Want. When the Ghost of Christmas Future taunts Scrooge with his own words (‘Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses?’), I am reminded of how much the world has changed since Dickens’ time…yet, much has stayed the same…and am inspired to make it better.

We look forward to this year’s production and many more to come!”