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Lee and CAROL (posted 08-18-2014)

For the better part of the last decade, Lee Trull, DTC's Director of New Play Development, has played a role in our annual holiday favorite A Christmas Carol. As Bob Cratchit, Fred and Young Scrooge, he's become well acquainted with Dickens' spirited tale of redemption and forgiveness. This season he steps into a new relationship with the classic story as director—his first such turn at the Wyly. Here he reminds us why Carol unites us all.

Charles Dickens wrotA Christmas Carol in a hurry. He started the novel in September 1843 and completed the final pages by early December 1843 just in time for it to be published before Christmas. In a mere six weeks he hammered out one of the most lasting holiday stories of the past one hundred years. Dickens had a story he needed to tell, and the words rifled out of his pen like bullets. 

We have even less time to rehearse our adaptation. We gather at the end of October 2014 and perform for our first audience by mid-November. Adult actors, child actors, backstage crew and designers – all of us huddled in a room with the same urgent need to tell the story that had Dickens burning the midnight oil 171 years ago. 

So... why the urgency? Don’t we tell this story every December? And not just us. Right now, in every major city, a production of A Christmas Carol is being produced by professional theaters, community arts programs and schools. Indeed, most of us have encountered Scrooge and his ghosts countless times on our TVs, movies screens, magazine ads and cereal boxes. We KNOW this story!We continue to tell this story because it is timeless. 

Dickens' Dream by R.W. Buss

We continue to tell this story because it is timeless. A story becomes timeless by touching on something universal in the human experience. Cruelty, hunger, regret, betrayal, shame, redemption, joy—all of the emotional steps taken by Scrooge, the Cratchitts, the Fezziwigs and the many factory workers and assorted colorful characters of Carol resonate with each of us because they are the steps we take every day. Somewhere right now a child is hungry. Somewhere right now a person with great power is oppressing someone with fewer resources. Somewhere right now someone is making the choice to change their lives for the better. Somewhere right now someone is choosing to forgive someone who wronged them. And somewhere right now (this very theater in fact) a diverse community gathers to celebrate their common humanity.

This is why we keep telling the story. Enjoy the show.

Kurt Rhodes (Scrooge) and Lee Trull (Bob Cratchitt) 
DTC's A Christmas Carol 2011
Phot: Karen Almond

Top: Jeremy Allen Dumont and Ashlee Elizabeth Bashore
DTC's 2013 production of A Christmas Carol
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Photo: Karen Almond

June 2018
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