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Northwestern professor helms return of ‘A Christmas Carol’ to the stage

Eight Northwestern theatre makers are showcased in 44-year-old Chicago holiday tradition

Mrs. Maud Fezziwig raises a holiday toast in “A Christmas Carol.”
Cindy Gold as Mrs. Maud Fezziwig (center) raises a holiday toast in a scene from the Goodman Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” Photo by Liz Lauren.
Scrooge scowling at Bob Cratchit
Ebenezer Scrooge scowls at Bob Cratchit (SoC alum Thomas J. Cox). Photo by Liz Lauren.
Director Jessica Thebus in rehearsal for A Christmas Carol.
Director Jessica Thebus in rehearsal for "A Christmas Carol." Photo by Liz Lauren.
The cast of "A Christmas Carol" at a table reading of the play.
Far R: SoC alum Lucky Stiff (Ghost of Christmas Past) rehearsing with the cast of "A Christmas Carol." Photo by Liz Lauren.

“A Christmas Carol,” one of Chicago’s most enduring and beloved holiday traditions, is now on stage at the esteemed Goodman Theatre through Dec. 31.

After a pandemic-driven detour in 2020 to audio format, the 44th annual production will once again treat audiences to live performances of Charles Dickens’ ghostly and heartwarming tale of kindness, compassion and redemption.

The production is directed by Jessica Thebus (GC ’91, GC ’97), associate professor of theatre and director of the MFA directing program at the School of Communication.

Eight artists in total affiliated with Northwestern’s School of Communication collaborated on the production.

Faculty contributions include set design by Todd Rosenthal; choreography by Tommy Rapley; and the role of Mrs. Maud Fezziwig played by acting professor Cindy Gold. Other cast members include School of Communication alumni Thom Cox (C ’88) as Bob Cratchit; Amira Danan (C ’19) as Belle; Lucky Stiff (GC ’19) as Ghost of Christmas Past; and Andy White (C ’87) as the narrator.

Thebus said the opportunity to gather again in person holds special meaning for the creative team. 

“It is a privilege to be in the room with joyful people of all ages telling this story. It reminds us that we reach out to each other, always, despite the obstacles, and that even in dark times, we can choose celebration,” Thebus said.

Not only will Chicago theatre goers be able to enjoy the December run of the production, but thanks to a partnership with Lurie Children’s Hospital, “A Christmas Carol” will bring cheer to 300 hospitalized children and their families Dec. 20 to 25, when a video capture of the 2021 production is shown on the hospital’s closed-circuit TV.

Watch a preview of Goodman’s “A Christmas Carol” below.

The 2020 production, “A Christmas Carol: An Audio Play,” also directed by Thebus, featured a cast of 19 actors plus the show’s signature soundscape. Streamed from Goodman Theatre’s website during the 2020 holiday season, the audio play reached more than 150,000 listeners.

Audiences will be able to enjoy the audio play from home, courtesy of a partnership with WBEZ Chicago (91.5 FM) and Vocalo (91.1 FM). “A Christmas Carol: An Audio Play” will be broadcast on the radio Dec. 24 at 3 p.m. and Dec. 25 at 10 a.m.  

More information about “A Christmas Carol” can be found on the Goodman Theatre website.  

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