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