Buy Tickets From the 2015-2016 Season: Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol Playing December 03, 2015 to December 23, 2015


A Holiday Tradition at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, ASC is proud of this very special adaptation of a timeless classic. A handful of actors bring the wondrous art of storytelling to life, transporting you to Scrooge’s London counting house that fateful Christmas when Scrooge meets three Ghosts and a certain little boy named Tiny Tim. This enchanting holiday experience will bring the magic of the season to Scrooge, to The Tavern, and to you. Join us for some Dickens, a bit of song, and a lot of holiday cheer.

All remaining performances are currently SOLD OUT. For information about Waiting List Options, click here and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Join the cast and crew members for a lively Question and Answer session on Sunday December 6 after the show!

Director's Notes

Directed by J. Tony Brown

“Merry Christmas!” Did you know that phrase was first popularized in Charles Dickens’ novella, A Christmas Carol? Indeed, many of our Christmas traditions, can be traced back to a mid-Victorian revival of the holiday, spearheaded by Mr. Dickens’ little book. English historian Ronald Hutton points out that Dickens, “linked worship and feasting, within a context of social reconciliation.”1 Dickens emphasis on family gatherings, seasonal food and drink, dancing, games and a festive generosity of spirit have strongly influenced the nature of our holiday gatherings down to the present day.

And it’s not just the trappings; the story’s themes continue to resonate as well. Besides the many and varied productions of the story itself, we see echoes in popular holiday fare like Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Its cultural impact was felt almost from the beginning. English novelist William Thackeray in the February, 1844 edition of Fraser’s Magazine, called the book “a national benefit and to every man or woman who reads it, a personal kindness. The last two people I heard speak of it were women, neither knew the other, or the author, and both said, by way of criticism, ‘God bless him!’” Of Tiny Tim he wrote, “There is not a reader in England but that little creature will be a bond of union between the author and him, and he will say of Charles Dickens, as the woman just now, ‘GOD BLESS HIM!’ What a feeling this is for a writer to inspire, and what a reward to reap!”

Over the past 12 years, A Christmas Carol has become a part of the Tavern tradition, and many audience members have made it a part of their own families’ tradition as well. Over the years, there have been some questions that have consistently come up.

“I love the music, but why did you put so much in the show?” Actually, the story inspired that choice. Even the title bespeaks music: A Christmas Carol. Each chapter is called a “stave,” another word for a song’s stanza. Moreover, there are frequent references to music in the text: the carol-singing boy, the singing and dancing at Fezziwig’s and Fred’s parties, and many more besides. You may want to keep an ear out for them.

“Why did you put in so many religious references?” Actually, I didn’t add anything to the story. I simply left in what Mr. Dickens had already put there. Charles Dickens was described by his son, Henry, as a man who “possessed deep religious convictions.” Tolstoy referred to him as “that great Christian writer.” He even wrote a book called The Life of Our Lord (1849), a short work about the life of Jesus Christ, designed to pass on his faith to his children and family.”

“Why the story-tellers?” A large part of the power and beauty of the novella is found in the prose, and I felt that another “dialogue-only adaptation,” just couldn’t do it justice. More importantly, I really wanted you to get Dickens’ words, not mine.

“Merry Christmas, and God Bless us, everyone!”

1 Hutton, Ronald, Stations of the Sun: A History of the Ritual Year in Britain, Oxford Univ. Press. P. 113.

Show Information


Act 1 - 60 minutes // 15 minute intermission // Act 2 - 35 minutes

Show Roles

December 3-23, 2105

Scrooge – Drew Reeves*
Rivka Levin*
Becky Cormier Finch
Hayley Platt
Andrew Houchins*
Paul Hester*
David Sterritt
Clarke Weigle
Matt Nitchie
Mary Ruth Ralston
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

Show Times
In general, shows at The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse begin at 7:30pm, except on Sundays, when they begin at 6:30pm.

Bardometer Rating

How difficult is this Shakespearean play to grasp? On a scale of 1 to 10.
What does rating this mean?

You may already know the story and what happens at the end. But even if you don’t, the play is light and the plot is easy to follow. Limited violence, limited bawdiness (see below). There are very few things – historical, religious, or political – that you need to know ahead of time. Just enjoy!

A note about bawdiness in Shakespeare: It exists. Despite what your English teacher taught you, Shakespeare wrote some pretty saucy lines and they pop up from time to time. While there is never any nudity on stage, our actors are trained to make the text clear. If we feel a show contains a plethora of Graphic Elizabethan Poetry (or is very bloody/violent/triggering) we will put that disclaimer in the blurb about the show. It won’t happen often. If this Bardometer lists a play as a 1 or 2, you can rest assured that it is an appropriate show for kids under ten.

Additional Information