The cat’s out of the bag! The Citadel Theatre will be producing my new adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol in December of this year!
I’ve been hard at work on the new version since January of 2018, which means whistling Christmas songs in my shorts and sandals in August, and playing many rounds of my daughter’s new favourite game: “Scrooge and Jacob Marley.”
I’m just finishing draft three, but we’ve already had a workshop and we’re in the process of assembling the creative team. There will be more details later, but I’m very pleased that the show will be directed by the Citadel’s talented, ambitious and deeply human new Artistic Director, Daryl Cloran. Daryl directed the premiere of Liberation Days at Theatre Calgary and Western Canada Theatre, and I’m over the moon to be working with him again in this creative partnership.
Dickens has been called “the man who invented Christmas,” which is true in many ways. The Victorian setting of his story has been strongly associated with Christmas nostalgia—men in top hats, urchins singing Christmas carols, holly everywhere. In our early discussions Daryl and I agreed that we wanted to find a way to enjoy that classic story of redemption in a new setting. We agreed that there’s another historical era which is as strongly associated with Christmas—the world of the late 40s and early 50s. The era birthed many unforgettable Christmas movies (It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street to name a few) and a whole genre of beautiful Christmas music that has become intimately tied to the holiday (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “I’ll be Home for Christmas” and many more). We’re looking to the iconography of these classic films for our setting and weaving those beautiful songs into the fabric of the show.
Ultimately, however, it’s the story that brings audiences back year after year. Edmonton has a deep connection to this narrative of redemption, and I don’t take that lightly. It’s Scrooge’s journey from closed off miser to an opened soul that forms the heart of the play. It’s my hope that you’ll fall in love with that story all over again this year.
The show runs November 30-December 23, 2019. Tickets will go on sale soon. I’ll update this page with more details as they are available.