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

December 4, 2009

Reflections on Christmas Carol, by Playwright and Founder Julian Wiles

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 10:00 am

 

Though we know the story, we know the characters, and often we even know many of the songs that make up Dickens’ remarkable A Christmas Carol, it’s forever new.  For the journey that Scrooge takes each holiday season—to rediscover what matters in life is a journey we all take.  Especially in this fast-paced world with 24-hour internet, 500 cable channels, and cell phones that are never turned off.  The chatter around us is no less deafening and isolating than the world Ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge created for himself.  Often, I think in our effort to always be connected, in many ways, like poor Scrooge, we’re not connected at all.

The antidote to this modern isolation I feel (I’m a little biased) can be found in the magic of the theatre.  Gathering with friends and family to enjoy a live performance together, discussing and debating what we’ve seen performed (not reproduced for us in high def) is hard to beat.  Best of all, we get to enjoy commentary, our own thoughts, and our own emotions without pundits telling us what we should be thinking and feeling.

And each year as Scrooge looks into his own life and the path he has chosen, I suspect we all reflect on what is and what might have been, our ups and our downs from the past year.  We are reminded that wherever the path of life has taken us, the future with all its possibilities awaits.  Dickens personifies this future in a character he calls the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.  Though this is Dickens’ most frightening phantom, it is also the spirit that brings eternal hope and possibility as well.  We humans, as Dickens shows so well, have an endless capacity for starting over, to reflect and to strive to find the better part of our natures.

Often we think of A Christmas Carol as simply a lesson in not being stingy, but it is really a lesson in not being stingy with our imaginations, with our dreams, and especially with those whom we hold dear.  I don’t think a story about a grumpy old miser would have lasted so long if it were not truly a tale of hope and renewal.  We return to this story year after year, not because it’s the same, but because it renews our hope that better tomorrows await us.  Truly, a new day dawns for each of us each day.  

As you enjoy this holiday production, know that our wish here at Charleston Stage is that your days ahead are merry and bright with no humbugs in sight.

 

Wishing you the happiest of holidays,

Julian Wiles, Playwright and Producing Artistic Director

 

Carol1

(Fred And Caroline's House On Christmas Day)

 

Carol2

(Carolers Sing "O Little Town Of Bethlehem")

 

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