GUTHRIE THEATER TO PRODUCE A VIRTUAL TELLING OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL INSPIRED BY CHARLES DICKENS' PUBLIC READINGS OF THE NOVELLA
Dickens’ Holiday Classic will be available on demand for patrons December 19–31 and free to all K–12 schools
September 28, 2020
(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) today announced it will present Dickens’ Holiday Classic, a virtual telling of A Christmas Carol inspired by Charles Dickens’ festive public readings of his cherished novella. Adapted and directed for the stage by Joseph Haj with film direction by E.G. Bailey, this special event will feature Twin Cities actors Ryan Colbert, Nathaniel Fuller, Charity Jones and Meghan Kreidler. Dickens’ Holiday Classic will be available to stream on demand December 19–31, 2020. Tickets are $10 per household and will go on sale Tuesday, October 6 at 11 a.m. through the Box Office at 612.377.2224 and online at guthrietheater.org.
To request free streaming access for a K–12 school, visit guthrietheater.org.
One of Dickens’ favorite ways to spread holiday cheer was to perform dramatic readings of his beloved ghost story for audiences near and far. With a trusty, self-edited copy of his novella in hand, Dickens took Scrooge’s tale of transformation on the road for decades, standing at podiums and entertaining large crowds of devoted fans from London to Boston and beyond.
Drawing inspiration from this centuries-old tradition, the Guthrie’s special virtual event features four actors who will each deliver one of Dickens’ hand-curated chapters and reimagine the classic for a global audience to enjoy. During the season that would have brought the 46th consecutive production of A Christmas Carol to the Guthrie stage, the theater is continuing its holiday tradition virtually with the hope of making spirits bright while its stages are dark.
More than 10,000 students attend the Guthrie’s production of A Christmas Carol annually, often at deeply reduced ticket prices, making it one of the most popular and accessible first-time theater experiences for youth in the region. As part of the Guthrie’s ongoing commitment to introducing youth to the art form and engaging them in the power of storytelling onstage, the theater will make Dickens’ Holiday Classic free to all K–12 schools beginning December 15. Educators and administrators are invited to register here for free access or email email@example.com for more information. Although the story is appropriate for all ages, this virtual event is most appropriate for middle and high school students.
Dickens’ Holiday Classic will be prerecorded and streamed on demand.
“I love the tradition of A Christmas Carol at the Guthrie,” Haj recently shared. “Dickens’ story represents everything we talk about in the theater: the ability to create community and the opportunity to be made better through the art form that we love. As a young actor at the Guthrie in the 1990s, I remember the first time I saw A Christmas Carol onstage. I was able to witness firsthand how much the play meant to our community, and I was powerfully moved by the production.”
He added, “Since theaters were forced to shut down in March due to health and safety concerns, there have been many losses and hardships, but it felt unimaginable to not uphold this beloved holiday tradition in what would have been its 46th consecutive year at the Guthrie. Though we can’t gather in person, we felt it was important to find a way to bring A Christmas Carol to our community when we perhaps need it most. We took the lead from Dickens himself, who adapted his novella into four staves, or chapters, which he performed in wildly popular public readings for more than 20 years. It gives me great joy to bring this timeless classic to life, using Dickens’ own performance script, with four incredible actors in an intimate, virtual medium.”
The cast of Dickens’ Holiday Classic includes Ryan Colbert (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, As You Like It, Frankenstein – Playing With Fire), Nathaniel Fuller (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, As You Like It, King Lear, Trouble in Mind), Charity Jones (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Cyrano de Bergerac, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear) and Meghan Kreidler (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, As You Like It).
The full creative team for Dickens’ Holiday Classic will be shared online at a later date.
THE GUTHRIE THEATER (Joseph Haj, Artistic Director) is an esteemed center for theater performance that seeks to illuminate our common humanity and transform our world through the power of live theater. Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and firmly rooted in the community since 1963, the Guthrie is dedicated to producing classic and contemporary works with excellence, cultivating artists and inspiring the next generation of theatergoers. guthrietheater.org