(Minneapolis/St. Paul) — The Guthrie Theater (Joseph Haj, artistic director) today announced casting for the perennial holiday favorite A Christmas Carol, written by Charles Dickens, adapted by Crispin Whittell and directed by Lauren Keating. A Twin Cities holiday tradition for many, this season marks the Guthrie’s 45th production, making it the longest run of A Christmas Carol in regional theater history.
A Christmas Carol will run November 12 – December 29, 2019, on the Wurtele Thrust Stage. Single tickets start at $15 for early performances (November 12–21). All other performances range from $29 to $134. Tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, 1.877.44.STAGE (toll-free) or online at guthrietheater.org. Post-play discussions and access services (ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances) are available on select dates and by request.
A miserly and miserable man, Ebenezer Scrooge greets each Christmas with “Bah! Humbug!” until he is visited one Christmas Eve by the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present and Christmas Future. Through a restless night, the spirits show him happy memories from his past, cruel realities from the present and a grim future should he continue his cantankerous ways. Charles Dickens’ timeless tale continues to be a perennial favorite and holiday tradition that invites audiences of all ages to celebrate the merriment of the season with their family and loved ones.
With themes of hope, empathy, community and transformation, this enduring story returns to welcome first-time guests and those who continue to be drawn to the spectacle of the Guthrie’s A Christmas Carol. Keating, associate producer at the Guthrie, will helm the show for a third consecutive season. She remains committed to creating a production where every audience member can see themselves represented in this universal story of second chances.
At first rehearsal, Keating shared, “If there’s one thing we can all agree on, it’s that we need more love in the world. My desire is that through this production we can do our small part in giving people hope and offering a path forward. Dickens shows us that the path isn’t easily walked, but if we’re willing to wrestle with our ghosts, we can approach each other with a compassion born from a shared humanity. Our world really needs A Christmas Carol right now.”
In addition to the scheduled ASL-interpreted, audio-described and open-captioned performances, a relaxed performance of A Christmas Carol will be offered on Saturday, December 28 at 1 p.m. Although open to all patrons, relaxed performances are intentionally modified to accommodate patrons with sensory and vestibular sensitivities, anxiety, dementia, autism spectrum disorders, learning differences or challenges attending the theater. Single tickets for the relaxed performance of A Christmas Carol are $29 for adults and $15 for students. Tickets are on sale now through the Box Office at 612.377.2224, 1.877.44.STAGE (toll-free) or online at www.guthrietheater.org/relaxed. Guthrie Theater relaxed performances are sponsored by Target.
The cast of A Christmas Carol includes Ansa Akyea (Guthrie: Cyrano de Bergerac, A Christmas Carol, Harvey, To Kill a Mockingbird) as Ghost of Christmas Present/Bear, Katie Bradley (Guthrie: Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol, South Pacific) as Deirdre Fezziwig/Mabel/Lead Caroler, Aimee K. Bryant (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol; My Fair Lady; Caroline, or Change) as Bunty/Mrs. Fezziwig, John Catron (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, Sense and Sensibility) as Jacob Marley/Bull/Poulterer, Ryan Colbert (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, As You Like It, Frankenstein – Playing With Fire) as Young Scrooge, Andy Frye (Guthrie: Guys and Dolls, West Side Story) as Mr. Wimple/David/Belle’s Husband/Ghost of Christmas Future, Nathaniel Fuller (Guthrie: As You Like It, A Christmas Carol, King Lear, Trouble in Mind) as Ebenezer Scrooge/Old Joe (select performances), Emily Gunyou Halaas (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Sense and Sensibility, Sunday in the Park With George, Uncle Vanya) as Mrs. Dilber/Mrs. Polkinghorne, Jon Andrew Hegge (Guthrie: Guys and Dolls, A Christmas Carol, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, 1776) as Bumble/Mr. Fezziwig/Scrooge’s Priest, Charity Jones (Guthrie: Cyrano de Bergerac, A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, King Lear) as Old Joe/Ebenezer Scrooge (select performances), Meghan Kreidler (Guthrie: As You Like It, A Christmas Carol) as Mrs. Cratchit/Dora Fezziwig, Maya Lagerstam (Guthrie: debut) as Belle/Mrs. Wimple, Elizabeth Reese (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol) as Ghost of Christmas Past/Jane, Richard S. Rigmaiden IV (Guthrie: debut) as Dick Wilkins, Juan Rivera Lebron (Guthrie: A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, The Winter’s Tale) as Bob Cratchit/Donald, Eric Sharp (Guthrie: As You Like It, A Christmas Carol, M. Butterfly) as Fred/Daniel and Christine Weber (Guthrie: Cyrano de Bergerac, A Christmas Carol, Pride and Prejudice, The Winter’s Tale) as Daisy Fezziwig/Kitty.
The children’s ensemble includes Mollie Allen, Annie Birkholz, Elsa Dungan-Hawks, Luca La Hoz Calassara, Calvin Reed, Levi Reed, Kate Regan, Lola Ronning, Brennan Royal, Ema Santibanez, Carolina Sierra and Sidney Whiteside.
The creative team for A Christmas Carol includes Lauren Keating (director), Regina Peluso (choreographer), Keith Thomas (original music and orchestrations), Deborah Wicks La Puma (music director), Walt Spangler (scenic designer), Mathew J. Lefebvre (costume designer), Christopher Akerlind (lighting designer), Ryan Connealy (recreated lighting design), Scott W. Edwards (sound designer), Reid Rejsa (recreated sound design), Anna J. Crace (dramaturg), Foster Johns (voice and dialect coach), Tree O’Halloran (stage manager), Jane E. Heer (assistant stage manager), Matthew Meeks (assistant stage manager) and H. Adam Harris (assistant director).
Lauren Keating (director) is a director of new and classic work, an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation/Theatre Communications Group Leadership U[niversity] Fellow and associate producer at the Guthrie. Keating’s directing/adapting work with classics includes Frank Wedekind’s Lulu; William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet and Measure for Measure; and Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Development of new plays includes work with playwrights such as Sarah Burgess, Josh Koenigsberg, Dipika Guha, Michael Mitnick, Lauren Yee and Lauren Feldman. She has directed off-Broadway, throughout New York City and regionally with Cleveland Play House, Ars Nova, 3-Legged Dog, Woodshed Collective, New Georges, The Cooper Union, The Old Vic, Peculiar Works Project, Vampire Cowboys, New Lions Productions and The Flea Theater. Her projects for screen include “The Feminist Cooking Show” (web series) and Power Out (short film).
Keating has taught at The New School, New York University, Brooklyn Academy of Music and The Public Theater, visiting prisons, schools and marginalized communities throughout the state of New York. She is a Time Warner Foundation Fellow, Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab member, founding member of The Internationalists, New Georges Affiliated Artist and 2009 Old Vic/New Voices Exchange American Director. She is an NYU Tisch School of the Arts alumna, former artistic associate at The Shakespeare Society and four-time Drama League Directors Project Fellow.
The Guthrie Theater’s production of A Christmas Carol is sponsored by Target.