Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Director Robin Parker on 'A Christmas Carol'

The cast of the 2011 LTA production of A Christmas Carol (photo by Shane Canfield).  Due to overwhelming turnout, The Little Theatre of Alexandria has added a performance of the beloved Christmas classic "A Christmas Carol," Sunday, December 18 at 5 p.m.  Tickets are available at www.thelittletheatre.com

A Christmas Carol was the first play in which I ever performed. Although I was only 12, it made a huge impact on me and it continues to be one of my favorite stories. The rich characters are more to me than just characters - they serve as examples of what could have been or what could be.

Of course there is Scrooge - synonymous with all things curmudgeonly. Scrooge is the "villain" of the story. But why? He was neither dishonest nor a cheat. He worked hard, minded his own business, paid his taxes and avoided many of the vices over which we spend so much time obsessing. Scrooge's villainous flaw is that he had shut himself off - closed his heart. A Christmas Carol delves into the "whys." There is more to Scrooge than can be fully appreciated from the surface.

Scrooge's nephew, Fred, and Bob Cratchit provide another angle. While most of the characters in the story choose to avoid Scrooge for what he is, Fred loves him for who he is, beneath teh layers of regret, fear and loneliness. Fred demonstrates unconditional friendship when many of us would not. Fred and Bob Cratchit refuse to speak badly of Scrooge and, in the end, play a large role in Scrooge's redemption.

A quote from H. Jackson Brown, Jr. translates the spirit of their empathy into everyday life, "Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something and has lost something." Perhaps one more kind word or shred of understanding (or bitten tongue) can make a difference. After all, it took Fred, Bob and four persistent ghostly apparitions to reach Scrooge, but reach him they did!

Robin Parker
Director, A Christmas Carol

The LTA production of A Christmas Carol runs through December 18. Tickets are available online at www.thelittletheatre.com.

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