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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

December 14, 2010

Being Bob Cratchit, by Jerrad Aker

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 2:35 pm

This is my third year doing A Christmas Carol in a row, which means I have a strong connection with the story and all the characters.  In the past I played multiple roles like the pauper and one of the apprentices, but this year I was asked to play Bob Cratchit!  I was excited that I was going to get the chance to experience another side to this great Christmas classic.

Bob Cratchit is a nice gentle fellow.  His main purpose in life is to support his rather large family, though Scrooge pays him very little.  The relationship between Cratchit and Scrooge is a difficult one.  Cratchit works long hours with little pay, yet he insists in honoring Scrooge during his family’s Christmas feast.  Since Cratchit has worked at the counting house for years, he has learned to not take what Scrooge has to say too seriously and he especially does not let Scrooge ruin his Christmas spirit.  I have actually started to adopt this practice in my own life.

When I first approached this role I was initially a little nervous.  Bob Cratchit is much older than I, so finding exactly how old I should play him took the majority of the rehearsal process.  But when Barbara Young (Costumer in Residence) gave me my costume and fake mutton chops, it really helped me define who Bob Cratchit is.  Another challenge was the fact I have never been a father before, so needless to say, seven kids is a lot!  I was able to find Cratchit’s gentle personality quite easily though.  The second Cratchit scene took a while to really grasp the mood of the scene, but with the help from Julian Wiles, I was able to understand that the scene is not about being sad about Tiny Tim’s death, but the fact that Bob is trying to lighten the mood of everyone else.  I have really enjoyed getting the chance to play the role of Bob Cratchit and I have been able to grow as an actor through this role!

Jerrad Aker as Bob Cratchit and Brian J. Porter as Ebenezer Scrooge.

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