A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol at Centenary Stage, 2020 and 2021
Director: Carl Wallnau
Scenic Designer: Matthew Imhoff
Lighting Designer: Ed matthews
Costume Designer: Meghan Reeves
Choreographer: Lea Antolini-Lid
Composer/Music Director: Kevin Lynch
Why a new version?
I love the story, played Scrooge myself for four seasons at the McCarter theater in Princeton, and wanted to make an adaptation that paid more attention to the social realities of the time.
A chamber version, this adaptation is devised to be performed with five or seven actors – and no children. Along with weaving new details throughout, I’ve also added a new ending— because what does happen when a person’s life is turned upside down? What does Scrooge do with his new-found humanity?
One of Dickens’s principal sources for this story as well as for others, was Mayhews ongoing survey of London’s underbelly that would later be published as London Labour and the London Poor.
At the mid-point of the nineteenth century, London was the first industrialized capital, notoriously filthy and noisy, flooded by dispossessed country workers hoping to find work and a better life, but instead finding slums and bone-crushing poverty.
In A Christmas Carol, Dickens presents a world full of the possibility of good that is corrupted and befouled by greed till, on that one night of the year when redemption is possible Scrooge is offered the chance to remake his life.
How he finally takes that chance and what he does with it is the subject of the play.
A Christmas Carol at Centenary Stage Company, Carl Wallnau as Scrooge.