This year, reuniting for A Christmas Carol is more than a holiday tradition. It’s more than a beloved classic. It’s much more than an old miser rediscovering his heart and humanity.
It’s a homecoming.
2018 was the last time that A Christmas Carol performed on the Denver Center stage. In 2019, the theatre was closed for renovation and then live theatre was closed altogether.
Now the cast and crew — returning to the show for the first time in nearly three years — will welcome audiences to the Marvin and Judi Wolf Theatre.
And they are excited.
“I feel so fortunate and honored to be a part of the Denver Center’s annual production of A Christmas Carol,” said Sam Gregory (Scrooge). “Nothing compares to the experience of sharing such a wonderful story with Denver families at Christmas time. It’s maybe the best Christmas gift an actor could wish for and I’ve really missed it!”
“There are no words to express how excited I am to be part of the return to live theatre at the DCPA,” said Leslie O’Carroll (Mrs. Fezziwig). “I have missed that rush of energy you get from engaging with a live audience. I have missed seeing children dressed in their holiday best with their little legs sticking straight out in their seats. But mostly, I have missed our Christmas Carol family.”
“Being a part of this production has become a holiday tradition for me,” said Erick Pinnick (Christmas Present). “In theatre, it’s rare that you get to reunite with the same group of actors year after year to create something this special.”
“A Christmas Carol will be my first show back following the shutdowns. And that was purposeful,” said Shannon Steele (Ensemble). “Somehow, I knew that I wanted THIS story to bring this piece of my heart and my world back to life.”
A Christmas Carol is not only the return of a holiday favorite, it signifies the resumption of live, indoor performances for the DCPA Theatre Company. On March 13, 2020, conditions necessitated the closure of public venues and by May 28, the DCPA made the difficult decision to cancel its entire 2020/21 theatre season, resulting in the furlough of 135 artists, actors and administrators.
But all was not lost; the Bonfils renovation was finished complete with the new Marvin & Judi Wolf Theatre (formerly Stage), new Singleton Theatre (formerly Ricketson), a unified lobby entrance, significantly improved accessibility standards, and technical upgrades that advance the Company’s theatrical capabilities by decades.
“Oh my goodness,” exclaimed Hanley Smith (Belle). “I am SO excited about the renovations! I love that the intimate-yet-spacious original footprint has been maintained…. Meanwhile, reconfiguring to make everything more accessible is awesome, and I can’t wait to hear the acoustic improvements.
“And all of the technical updates, I am sure,” Smith continued, “will be a treat for designers and technicians to let their creative juices really get going in new, exciting ways!”
But a three-year absence for this beloved classic as well as the 20-month hiatus of Theatre Company programming elicits a varied response from the actors.
“I return to work with mixed emotions having not performed in nearly two years,” said Gregory. “I grieve for the lost time, the lost productions, and the lost artistic experiences. And I am elated to embrace the creative process of theatre production once again!”
“Certainly, there is a little bit of trepidation — how will this all work out? Will audiences want to come? Can we ensure we are keeping each other safe?” Smith commented. “But I truly believe that being in theater is my way of being a part of something greater than myself that can be the change I wish to see in the world. So returning to DCPA feels like breathing air again.”
“Theatre gives so much life,” Steele said. “That’s what I missed most…the vehicle that theatre provides, for experiencing LIFE and HUMANITY and witnessing COMPASSION and all the LOVE that exists in all its glorious forms.”
O’Carroll said: “Doing A Christmas Carol is like putting on your favorite sweater, lighting a welcoming fire and inviting 1000’s of your neighbors into your home for Wassail — ‘Plenty for one and all!’”
“I’m excited to share the space and story with audiences looking to reconnect and celebrate togetherness,” said Chloe McLeod (Understudy). “This show is a tradition for so many families including the family of artists that return each year to tell this magical and important story. To be able to perform again for audiences feels like coming home.”
A Christmas Carol
Nov 19 – 26, 2021 • Wolf Theatre
ASL interpreted and Audio-Described performance: Dec 12 at 2pm