BY BENJAMIN HANNA, DIRECTOR
Today will likely not be your first encounter with Ebenezer Scrooge. The haunting ghost story of a crooked, isolated miser turned celebrated humanitarian and philanthropist has been told across the globe for more than 170 years. Perhaps you were introduced by Kermit in the Muppet’s retelling, or a shadowy black and white movie from your youth, or maybe you were lucky enough to have a loved one read Charles Dickens’s incredible tale to you, nestled by a fire.
Dickensian life seems so far from the world we live in today. After all our advances in socio-political reform, healthcare, research, and technology, it is hard to imagine how incredibly comparable the worlds are that we inhabit, particularly in relation to wealth. For some 30 years in America we have seen the gap between the rich and everyone else growing markedly by every major statistical measure, the bulk of wealth amassed in the hands of just 1% of the population. We continue to suffer from the fantasy of the self-made person; one who picks themselves up by their own bootstraps and succeeds without the help of others. The reality is that each of us have been dealt a very specific hand in life, and the contents of that dealing, without aid from those who can spare it, can and does strongly influence our trajectory.
Now more than ever, A Christmas Carol is a story we need. We live in a polarized time, unable to see the humanity of our neighbors beyond their political viewpoints. Increasingly, we find it difficult to empathize with those in need, to listen deeply to the stories of new Americans, and to open our hearts to those who are different from us. Our communities— diverse in age, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, religion, sexuality, culture—need the ghosts of past, present, and future to guide us. These specters help us celebrate the fact that with each new breath we are given the opportunity to change.
Every year in the longest, darkest, most frigid days of our calendars, we gather in the theatre to study our own hearts in hopes of doing better for each other and growing stronger together.
We hope you leave filled with the spirit of the season and a renewed sense of joy in sharing your blessings!
We hope you'll join us for Eli Lilly and Company presents Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, running now through December 26! Tickets are available 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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