Q: A Christmas Carol is a staple in the western zeitgeist - a story that stands the test of time, and is examined and reinvented in new and varied ways by each generation. This version of the story takes itself far less seriously than what we generally expect when we encounter the traditional telling of the tale. Why do you think we continue to explore this story and what does this zany, silly, and a little bit naughty version add to the conversation?
A: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is arguably the author’s best work, and is a classic piece of literature that will be read and studied for many more generations to come. It addresses societal conditions that are universal in concept and theme, and it is an excellent examination of the human condition. Even though it was written 177 years ago, it still endures in a world that is almost unrecognizable from Dickens’. I think that we continue to see parodies of this classic tale, like our production of Scrooge in Rouge, because of these qualities. Dickens, in his nuanced storytelling, has given us a lead character that is layered, complicated, tragic, redeemable, human – not someone to hate, but rather someone from whom you can see a mirror into yourself. And to have the opportunity to explore these very real characteristics through comedy is so special and necessary. If we can’t laugh at the Scrooge inside of us, how can we grow? As Dickens ended his story: “Some people laughed to see the alteration in him, but he let them laugh... for he was wise enough to know that nothing ever happened on this globe, for good, at which some people did not have their fill of laughter in the outset... His own heart laughed: and that was quite enough for him.”