It’s a story everybody knows, and yet we keep coming back to it. As an old English major, I don’t mind one bit.
Whether or not Charles Dickens single-handedly reinvented Christmas, he certainly played a role in its rehabilitation in the 19th century. As a result, there’s a lot of Victoriana in the ways we celebrate the season, which wouldn’t be complete without some theater company somewhere staging “A Christmas Carol.”
First published in 1843, the book opens with this preface:
I have endeavoured in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me. May it haunt their houses pleasantly.
This year, we get closer to that “ghost of an idea” with help from the Denver Center Theatre Company, in its 22nd year staging an adaptation of this “ghost story of Christmas.”
Click the audio above to hear “Charles Dickens and the Spirit of Christmas,” or check our holiday schedule for air dates.
Walking us through the story and sharing insights: Philip Pleasants, who knows Ebenezer Scrooge better than most; director Bruce Sevy; dramaturg Doug Langworthy; and playwright Richard Hellesen.
Humbug, you say?
“It’s one of the stories that comes the closest,” Hellesen tells us, “to being a definitive, secular myth of the season. And I don’t mean myth in the ‘untrue’ way; I mean myth in the classic sense. There’s something in the heart of this story that meshes so well with the season, because ultimately it’s a story of redemption.”
For more insights on Dickens, check out our 2012 special on "A Christmas Carol" featuring the Aurora Fox Theater company.
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