Goodman Theater hosts 44th annual A Christmas Carol Nov. 20 – Dec. 31
THE GOODMAN’S 44TH ANNUAL A CHRISTMAS CAROL RETURNS TO ITS DOWNTOWN HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS WITH A CAST OF 30 DIRECTED BY JESSICA THEBUS, NOVEMBER 20 – DECEMBER 31. LARRY YANDO STARS AS EBENEZER SCROOGE FOR HIS 14TH YEAR AND FEATURING ALLEN GILMORE IN THE ROLE AT 9 PERFORMANCES; GAYATRI GADHVI DEBUTS AS TINY TIM. THE RUN INCLUDES A SPANISH TRANSLATED PERFORMANCE (DEC. 19) AND SENSORY-FRIENDLY PERFORMANCE ON (DEC. 26)
Nearly two million people have experienced Goodman Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, “the greatest seasonal story of all” (Chicago Tribune), returning to the stage for its 44th annual production in the heart of the Chicago Loop following a year of darkened stages.
Director Jessica Thebus returns after co-adapting and directing the 2020 audio streaming version, which drew more than 150,000 listeners, from more than 50 countries, who experienced the production online as well as on-air, in an unprecedented partnership with Chicago Public Radio WBEZ and Vocalo. Chicago favorite Larry Yando returns for his 14th year as Ebenezer Scrooge—with Allen Gilmore stepping into the miserly businessman’s shoes for 9 performances—leading a cast of 30 including returning favorites and newcomers, including young performers Rika Nishikawa (Belinda Cratchit), Milla Liss (Emily Cratchit Alternate), Grier Burke (Turkey Child/Want) and Gayatri Gadhvi (Tiny Tim); a complete cast list appears below.
A Christmas Carol appears November 20 – December 31 (opening night is Sunday, November 28at 6:30pm). Tickets ($25 – $141; subject to change) are available at GoodmanTheatre.org/Carol or by phone at 312.443.3800. Visit the website for performance dates when Gilmore will appear as Scrooge. Goodman Theatre is grateful for the support of PNC, Major Corporate Sponsor.
Health and Safety Note: Proof of full vaccination with an FDA or WHO-authorized vaccine is required for all guests over 12 and a recent negative test must be presented for children under 12. Patrons must wear face coverings at all times while inside Goodman Theatre. Learn more GoodmanTheatre.org/Protocols.
“The story that I always want to see, and I always want to make, is one that is about transformation being possible. A Christmas Carol is the essential story of transformation,” says Director Jessica Thebus. “Directing A Christmas Carol—An Audio play was incredibly fun last year, but it’s really great to be back in the visual world. I’m especially looking forward to being in that audience. It’s a magical place to be.”
“The crown jewel of the holiday season” (Daily Herald), Dickens’ holiday classic is a “beautiful, timeless message of generosity’s triumph over greed” (Chicago Tribune). Businessman Ebenezer Scrooge’s sizable bank account is only matched by his disdain for the holidays. But one fateful Christmas Eve, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on a spectacular adventure through his past, present and future, helping him on his discovery of kindness, compassion and redemption in a tale that “tugs at the heartstrings” (Theatermania). Now in its fifth decade, A Christmas Carol is “still the best Christmas story ever told” (Time Out Chicago) and a signature event of the Chicago holiday season with a star-studded history that includes stage and screen notables like Jessie Mueller, Joe Minoso, Del Close, Harry J. Lennix, Felicia P. Fields, Raul Esparza, Sally Murphy and Frank Galati.
Full Company of A Christmas Carol
By Charles Dickens, Adapted by Tom Creamer
Directed by Jessica Thebus
Ghost of Jacob Marley/Young Marley….Kareem Bandealy
Frida….Dee Dee Batteast
Ensemble/Undertaker’s Assistant….Terry Bell
Turkey Child/Cratchit Child/Ignorance….Grier Burke
Fan/Martha Cratchit/Catherine….Ariana Burks
Bob Cratchit/Wreath Seller….Thomas J. Cox
Belle/Philomena/Young Woman….Amira Danan
Ortle/Old Joe/Tree Seller….William Dick
Tiny Tim….Gayatri Gadhvi
Ebenezer Scrooge Alternate….Allen Gilmore
Mrs. Maud Fezziwig/Mrs. Dilber/Chestnut Seller….Cindy Gold
Poulterer/Dick Wilkins/Musician….Gregory Hirte
Mrs. Cratchit….Susaan Jamshidi
Emily Cratchit Alternate/Child in Doorway Alternate….Milla Liss
Abe/Hat Seller/Young Man….Andy Nagraj
Belinda Cratchit/Want….Rika Nishikawa
Young Scrooge/Ghost of Christmas Future….Christopher Sheard
Boy Scrooge/Peter Cratchit….Nelson H. Simmons
Ghost of Christmas Past….Lucky Stiff
Emily Cratchit/Child in Doorway….Paris Strickland
Ghost of Christmas Present/Charwoman….Bethany Thomas
Crumb/Mrs. Alice Fezziwig….Penelope Walker
Ebenezer Scrooge….Larry Yando
Understudy Bob Cratchit/Undertaker/Old Joe….Darren Hill
Understudy Crumb/Ortle/Narrator….Gage Wallace
Set Designer….Todd Rosenthal
Costume Designer….Heidi Sue McMath
Lighting Designer….Keith Parham
Sound Designer….Richard Woodbury
Music Director….Malcolm Ruhl
Casting is by Lauren Port, CSA and Rachael Jimenez, CSA. Neena Arndt is the Dramaturg. Alden J. Vasquez is the Production Stage Manager and Kimberly Ann McCann is the Stage manager. Flying effects are provided by ZFX Inc.
ENHANCED AND ACCESSIBLE PERFORMANCES AT GOODMAN THEATRE
Touch Tour* and Audio-Described Performance: Saturday, December 11, 12:30pm Touch Tour; 2pm performance – The action/text is audibly enhanced for patrons via headset.
*Touch Tours for the 2021/2022 Season will not have access to the stage due to current health and safety protocols, but will feature alternate pre-show sensory introductions.
ASL-Interpreted Performance: Friday, December 17 at 7:30pm – Professional ASL interpreter signs the action/text as played.
Open-Captioned Performance: Sunday, December 19 at 2pm – An LED sign presents dialogue in sync with the performance.
Spanish-Captioned Performance: Sunday, December 19 at 6:30pm – An LED sign presents Spanish-translated dialogue in sync with the performance.
Sensory-Friendly/Relaxed Performance: Sunday, December 26 at 2pm – Sensory-friendly/relaxed performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is intended for patrons who have autism or other social, cognitive and physical challenges that create sensory sensitivities and their families.
Visit Goodman theatre.org/Access for more information about Goodman Theatre’s accessibility efforts.
ABOUT THE GOODMAN
Chicago’s theater since 1925, Goodman Theatre is a not-for-profit arts and community organization in the heart of the Loop, distinguished by the excellence and scope of its artistic programming and community engagement.
Led by Artistic Director Robert Falls and Executive Director Roche Schulfer, the theater’s artistic priorities include new play development (more than 150 world or American premieres), large scale musical theater works and reimagined classics. Artists and productions have earner two Pulitzer Prizes, 22 Tony Awards and more than 160 Jeff Awards, among other accolades. The Goodman is the first theater in the world to produce all 10 plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle.” Its longtime annual holiday tradition A Christmas Carol, now in its fifth decade, has created a new generation of theatergoers in Chicago. The Goodman also frequently serves as a production and program partner with national and international companies and Chicago’s Off-Loop theaters.
Using the tools of the theatrical profession, the Goodman’s Education and Engagement programs aim to develop generations of citizens who understand the cultures and stories of diverse voices. The Goodman’s Alice Rapoport Center for Education and Engagement is the home of these programs, which are offered free of charge for Chicago youth—85% of whom come from underserved communities—schools and life-long learners.
As a cultural and community organization invested in quality, diversity and community, Goodman Theatre is committed to using the art of theater for a better Chicago. Goodman Theatre’s Action Plan for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Anti-Racism and Access (IDEAA) was born out of the belief that progress means action, which includes building on the decades-long commitment to using art, assets and resources to contribute to a more just, equitable and anti-racist society.
Goodman Theatre was founded by William O. Goodman and his family in honor of their son Kenneth, an important figure in Chicago’s cultural renaissance in the early 1900s. The Goodman family’s legacy lives on through the continued work and dedication of Kenneth’s family, including Albert Ivar Goodman, who with his late mother, Edith-Marie Appleton, contributed the necessary funds for the creation on the new Goodman center in 2000.
Today, Goodman Theatre leadership also includes the distinguished members of the Artistic Collective: Rebecca Gilman, Dael Orlandersmith, Henry Godinez, Steve Scott, Kimberly Senior, Chuck Smith, Regina Taylor, Henry Wishcamper and Mary Zimmerman. Jeff Hesse is Chairman of Goodman Theatre’s Board of Trustees, Fran Del Boca is Women’s Board President and Megan McCarthy Hayes is President of the Scenemakers Board for young professionals.
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