Actor Marcus J. Fisk, left, pictured with the Ghost of Christmas Past Rachel Gray, talked to LTA about A Christmas Carol and his character, Scrooge.
What attracted you to A Christmas Carol?
I have been involved in theatre for nearly 45 years. My father was a founding member of one of the oldest summer stock theatre companies in the country – the Huron Playhouse – while he was attending Bowling Green University on the GI Bill after WWII. My mother was a ballerina, too, so I guess theatre is in my blood. Later we were stationed in Germany when my father was in the Army and I remember my mother giving me $1.00 to go see a GI production of A Christmas Carol on Base when I was 10 years old. I got there early and sat in the front row and watched as the production crews set up for the evening’s performance. I was bowled-over. The show was terrific and after four decades of seeing theatre productions, it is probably the best show I have even seen. Until now. This production team is extremely gifted and they are adding all the Victorian, historic, and Dickens touches that will really register with the audience. Combined with a cast of great depth and talent – we hope this production will stick with audiences long after the curtain runs down. It will be one for the books.
What do you find appealing about the character Scrooge?
Dickens wrote characters – not stock figures. In his novels, the antagonists are mean, nasty or evil, but not without an underlying current of understanding of why they were the people they were. He captures the bleakness of his age, the darkness of the environment and the times in such a manner that we see what effect they had on his characters to make them that way. Scrooge is a great character and is appealing to any actor because in the beginning we see a bitter, conniving, mean-spirited person. Throughout the story we see the events that made him that way and as an audience we are able to witness the slow unraveling of that character and his evolution into a new, re-born soul. I love the many, many levels of his character and if an actor is careful, and aware of all the layers that are peeled-off as the story unfolds, the audience grows to wrap its arms around this tortured man and experience his new-found joy of Christmas.
What do you want audiences to take away from the play?Much like today’s tough times, we face similar economic and moral woes as the Dickens’ characters did in A Christmas Carol. Scrooge helps to shine a light on those darker edges of our own characters to allow us to focus on the things that are truly important in our own lives – family, friends, the less fortunate –rather than on monetary status or social or professional station in life. As we watch Scrooge slowly unravel, reflect, then re-connect with humanity, we get to take the journey ourselves – to a place where, as Scrooge says we will “keep Christmas in our hearts and strive to keep it all the year!”
The LTA production of A Christmas Carol, directed by Robin Parker, opens December 8 and runs through December 18. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.thelittletheatre.com.