BY JANET ALLEN, EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
We welcome people from all walks of life, from all cultures, from all backgrounds. And while Dickens’ story springs from a specific culture and time, we believe that we tell it in a way that expands its impact beyond the confines of Victorian England and into our 21st century lives, no matter our background. Holidays offer us the opportunity to define and explore our traditions—as a culture and as individual families. We hope that what you experience at the IRT today may become a part of your family’s tradition, as well as provide you with many things to discuss and think about as you engage with your other family traditions throughout the holiday season.
At its heart, Dickens was trying to reawaken our empathy and our hearts with this ghost story, asking us to take the blinders off and see those around us: those who are struggling, those who are isolated, those to whom we may have closed our hearts for reasons we can no longer clearly remember. By following Scrooge on his journey of reawakening, and experiencing how he consistently resists listening to the better parts of himself, we see ourselves—how we have each been too much like Scrooge and not enough like the characters in the story who keep hope and generosity alive, such as Fred and the Fezziwigs and Bob Cratchit.
Dickens’ story resonates with circumstances of our own times on many levels. Scrooge’s obsession with accumulating wealth at any cost, even when it causes him to lose relationships, is an all too familiar contemporary trope. His isolation, his judgement of others, his inability to be moved by the plight of those around him—all feel eerily contemporary. It proves so hard for him to see the consequences of his negative actions that it takes four ghosts and a stark vision of his own lonely death to turn his vision outward, and to take tentative steps to reconnect with his family, with his employee, and with his own humanity.
Dickens’ story is meant as a cautionary tale—just as Scrooge is warned, Dickens is warning us: See the error of Scrooge’s ways in our own lives. Develop generosity. See fellow humans for their goodness, their best intentions. Reach across the things that divide us. Reconnect. Reunite. Art has the power to restore our best intentions.
Our company—our actors, administrators, and artisans—wish you a heartwarming season of human experiences, engagement, and joy.
Tickets are still available for this holiday tradition! Book here.
The IRT produces top-quality, professional theatre that engages, surprises, challenges and entertains people throughout their lifetimes, helping to build a vital and vibrant community.
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