Young Scrooge/Narrator/Scrooge Alternate
This is my fourth year with A Christmas Carol. I play Young Scrooge and the Narrator. I’m also the Scrooge Alternate during weekday matinees.
At its core, this is a story of redemption and transformation. Every year during this time, we have a reflecting period—we take stock of what we’ve done during the year. And in that process, we have to face some things about ourselves. A Christmas Carol is a hopeful tale about what’s still possible. For myself, every year passes and I see options getting more narrow, and the repercussions of things I’ve done. This year particularly I’m happy to be back because I’m starting to see what it means to me, and by translation what it could mean to anybody who’s made a mistake or has something to regret, that there’s still time to right things. There’s still time to live, as they say these days, your best life. The truth is it’s not a one-time decision, it’s an everyday decision. You have to make real changes and come up with a different answer than before.
Scrooge finds himself in this position because he’s lived his entire life a certain way, some of which is a result of his environment and some of which is based on decisions he’s made himself. If he doesn’t start the play in a place of absolute self-involvement, the transformation isn’t possible. But how his journey lands with the audience can always change depending on what’s going on at the time and what decisions we make. This year, we’ve heard about financial scandals, and there’s a scene, right before Belle and Scrooge break up, where Scrooge takes advantage for monetary reasons. Perhaps we add a bit more specificity there that resonates with today’s scandals.
Last year, the story resonated the most with me compared to previous years. We came to rehearsal the day after the election and found ourselves in a whole new world. So we navigated our rehearsal through that process: what does the story mean in this new era? Wherever you fall on the spectrum of politics. We’re hyper-aware of that.