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A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol

NE Ohio's Favorite Holiday Tradition

Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square

By Charles Dickens / Adapted and Directed By Gerald Freedman

Run Time: 1 hour and 45 minutes (including intermission)

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Open your heart to Charles Dickens’ classic tale of one man’s ultimate redemption. One of northeast Ohio’s favorite holiday traditions, A Christmas Carol is a perfect gift of theater for children and adults of all ages. Celebrate the season with the ones you love. 2019-20 Subscriptions on sale now. Click Here. Group Tickets on sale now. Click Here.

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The Cleaveland family celebrates the holiday season by enjoying the Charles Dickens classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL, as read by Mother Cleaveland (actor Laura Welsh Berg*, center) in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Ebenezer Scrooge (actor Lynn Robert Berg*) criticizes his clerk, Bob Cratchit (actor, Nick Steen*) as his nephew Fred (actor, Roderick Lawrence*) looks on in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The London streets are full of holiday merriment in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Mother Cleaveland (actor, Laura Welsh Berg*) reads Dickens’ classic to Master William (actor, Avery Pyo) in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Ebenezer Scrooge (actor Lynn Robert Berg) becomes suspicious in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Ghost of Jacob Marley (actor David Anthony Smith*, left) makes an appearance in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Ghost of Jacob Marley (actor David Anthony Smith*, left) warns Ebenezer Scrooge (actor Lynn Robert Berg*, right) to change his ways in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Ghost of Christmas Past (actor Patrick John Kiernan*, rights) shows Ebenezer Scrooge (actor Lynn Robert Berg*, center) his boyhood self (actor, Chase Christopher Zadd) in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Fezziwig (actor, Aled Davies*, center) prepares for his holiday party as Young Scrooge (actor Roderick Lawrence, left) and Dick Wilkins (actor, David Holbert, right) festively ready the room and Mrs. Fezziwig (actor, Colleen Longshaw*, right) looks on in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Ebenezer Scrooge (actor Lynn Robert Berg*, center) shares in the merriment of past memories of Fezziwig’s party as Fezziwig’s guests celebrate in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Young Scrooge (actor Roderick Lawrence*, right center) shares a tender moment with his potential soulmate Belle (actor Laura Welsh Berg*, left center) as Ebenezer Scrooge (actor, Lynn Robert Berg*) shares the memory in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Ghost of Christmas Present (actor, Alex Syiek) makes an impressive and magical entrance in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Bob Cratchit (actor, Nick Steen*) lifts Tiny Tim (actor, Ian McLaughlin) as Cratchit family members celebrate the occasion in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Mrs. Cratchit (actor, Jodi Dominick*, right) presents dessert as the Cratchit family members sit for Christmas dinner in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Topper (actor, Andrew May*, right) shares a joke as Cynthia (actor, Colleen Longshaw* seated right), Fred’s Wife (actor, Laura Welsh Berg*, seated left) and Nephew Fred (actor, Roderick Lawrence*, standing left) laugh in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Ghost of Christmas Present (actor, Alex Syiek*, above) looms over Ignorance (actor, Marlowe Miller, right below) and Want (actor, Brenna Sherman, left below) in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

The Undertaker (actor, David Anthony Smith*), Laundress (actor, Colleen Longshaw*) and Charwoman (actor, Jodi Dominick*) trade with Joe the Keeper (actor, M.A. Taylor*) in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Bob Cratchit (actor, Nick Steen) mourns the loss of Tiny Tim as Cratchit family members attempt to find holiday comfort on the sad occasion in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Father Cleaveland (actor, Nick Steen*) finishes reading the Charles Dickens classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL to his family in Great Lakes Theater's 30th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Great Lakes Theater rings in the holiday season with its 30th annual production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

Great Lakes Theater rings in the holiday season with its 30th annual production of Charles Dickens' holiday classic A CHRISTMAS CAROL onstage at the Ohio Theatre, Playhouse Square. (Photography by Roger Mastroianni)

From the Director...

Gerald Freedman reflects on his role as adapter and director of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.

I had never seen A Christmas Carol on stage or film before tackling an adaptation for Great Lakes Theater Festival in 1989. The piece has, however, entered our literary and popular vocabulary as a metaphor for redemption and the possibility of change. So it was with great anticipation that I approached my job.

Our production takes place in a middle-class London home. It is Christmas Eve, 1864, Twenty years after Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol. As the Cleaveland family sits down to the traditional reading of the story, the youngest child, a boy, begins to imagine the story that is being told to him. We see the play from his point of view.

Articles from the family home roam freely through Dickens' story and the child's imagination. The family fireplace appears in Scrooge's home; a desk becomes the workplace of Bob Cratchit; Samuels, the butler and also disciplinarian for the boy, becomes Scrooge; and siblings variously appear as other characters.

Dickens called the story a Ghost Story, and we have tried to remain true to this description, while at the same time creating an entertaining piece of theater.

Scrooge is a young man born into poverty who grows up distorted into thinking money is everything. He rejects his spiritual side and his heart becomes small and cold. Through the course of the story, he learns that he can change. The Spirits show him how loving people were in the past, how needy they are in the present, and that the results of his current pattern of behavior are to die alone without family, friends or love.

The three Spirits are each larger than life and haunting for different reasons. I see the Ghost of Christmas Past as benevolent: Scrooge first does not want to deal with the past, which serves as a painful reminder of what he has lost, but it is familiar and potentially warm.

The Spirit of Christmas Present is huge and expansive, as he embodies the entire world with everyone's thought and feelings on Christmas Day. The most daunting of the three is the Spirit of Christmas Future. He is connected to the unknown and therefore represents the greatest threat.

I think Dickens is essentially saying it is never too later to change -- not only yourself, but the world. One good deed, if allowed to, can and will spread through the world. The obstacles to the growth of a giving spirit are Ignorance and Want. As the poet Santanyana said, "Those who do not learn from the past are condemned to repeat it." It is this ignorance of the past and present which holds our downfall. Likewise, want of proper food and housing beget people who can't function properly.

In A Christmas Carol, Dickens decries materialism in favor of generosity and social responsibility. The enduring popularity of the story is grounded in his faith in the idea of change. Dickens portrays the obstacle to change as the paralyzing fear of giving up something and being somehow diminished in the process.

In the end, Scrooge risks squandering his money to provide for the welfare of others, and risks opening his heart and giving of his love, which makes him vulnerable to hurt, but which paves the way for his redemption.
 
Gerald Freedman, Original Director and Adapter A Christmas Carol

Synopsis

A Christmas Carol is more than a holiday tale.

It is a retelling of the very human dilemma that many of us face. We often think of Scrooge as a stereotype: as just the mean old man who says, “Bah, humbug!” The character of Ebenezer Scrooge, however, is much more than that – he is a symbol of all people who close their eyes to the ignorance and poverty in the world. In the story, Scrooge is a strong supporter of, and active participant in, a corrupt and cruel system. He goes through life thinking only of himself. In his own words, “It’s enough for a man to understand his own business and not to interfere with other peoples’.”

Begin at the Beginning
It is Christmas Eve and Ebenezer Scrooge is busy in his counting house. His clerk, Bob Cratchit, works in the next room with the smallest of fires to keep warm. Scrooge’s nephew, Fred, arrives to invite his uncle to Christmas dinner. Scrooge adamantly refuses, exclaiming, “Bah, humbug!” Fred tries to persuade him to change him mind, but to no avail. As Fred leaves, two gentlemen arrive and request a donation for the poor. Scrooge refuses, citing that taking care of the poor is the job of the prisons and workhouses. Scrooge grudgingly gives Bob Cratchit Christmas day off and they both leave for the day.

As Scrooge returns home on Christmas Eve, he is startled by the appearance of his doorknocker, which suddenly takes the form of his deceased partner’s face. It turns into a regular knocker again and Scrooge goes about his business, getting ready for bed. Scrooge is just settling down to a bowl of gruel when he is suddenly frightened by a loud ringing of many bells and the appearance of the ghost of his old business partner, Jacob Marley.

Jacob Marley
Marley, doomed to wear heavy chains and wander the earth witnessing misery, cautions Scrooge to change his ways. Marley shows Scrooge hundreds of ghosts, many of whom Scrooge knew when they were alive, suffering the same fate. He explains that their misery is caused by their powerlessness to interfere for the good in human affairs. In life, these people had been blind to the suffering around them, only to see, in death, what good they could have done. Marley warns Scrooge that his own chains are just as long and heavy, but that there is a chance of escaping his own horrific fate. Marley tells Scrooge he will be visited by three ghosts, the first at one o’clock. Marley departs and Scrooge convinces himself that the entire incident was only a dream.

The Ghost of Christmas Past 
At the stroke of one, however, the Ghost of Christmas Past appears and takes Scrooge on a journey through his own life. During this visit to his past, Scrooge experiences a great deal of regret. He sees himself as a lonely young boy, a carefree young man and, finally, as a hardened adult. The ghost also shows Scrooge the woman he once loved. Scrooge begins to realize that the love of money became more important to him than the love of other people.

The Ghost of Christmas Present

Scrooge is next visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present. In the course of this visit, Scrooge sees his clerk, Bob Cratchit, and his large family. The Cratchits are poor, but happy and grateful for one another. Scrooge is struck with a foreign emotion – compassion – when he sees Bob’s youngest son, Tiny Tim, who is sickly and crippled. Scrooge and the Ghost then travel throughout the land, observing gatherings and party goers, miners on a distant moor and sailors in a ship at sea – all celebrating Christmas in their own way.

Almost immediately Scrooge and the Ghost find themselves at Scrooge’s nephew Fred’s home. Scrooge overhears Fred and his party guests discussing his ill-temper and solitary nature. Fred tells the gathered guests that he means to continue asking his uncle to Christmas dinner, despite his rude refusals. Scrooge begins to realize he is only cheating himself out of happy experiences by not visiting. The Ghost and Scrooge continue to view Christmases throughout the world – from homes to hospitals to jails. Scrooge witnesses that each person visited by the Ghost of Christmas Present feels a greater sense of joy and hope.

Finally, Scrooge notices two children clinging to the Ghost’s robes. Scrooge asks if they belong to the Ghost, who replies: "They are man’s. And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance, the girl is Want. Beware of them both, and all of their degree. But most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."
 
The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come 
The bell strikes twelve and Scrooge is visited by the third and final spirit, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come. The Ghost, tall, shrouded in black and totally silent, shows Scrooge various people discussing the death of a man who was obviously disliked. A group of businessmen laugh at what a small funeral he was likely to have. Another group does nothing but mention his death casually. Scrooge then witnesses several servants selling the man’s stolen belongings. Scrooge realizes that “the case of this unhappy man might be my own.” Almost at once the scene changes and Scrooge is terrified to see the body of the plundered and uncared for man.
Scrooge, overcome, requests to see some emotion connected with the man’s death. The Ghost shows him a poor, young couple overcome with relief that their relentless creditor has died. To purge the previous scenes from his mind, Scrooge then demands to see some tenderness related to a death. The spirit conducts him to Bob Cratchit’s house. Scrooge realizes the quiet family is in mourning for the death of poor Tiny Tim. Scrooge, suspecting the end of the spirit’s visit, begs the Ghost to tell him the identity of the unfortunate deceased man. Without speaking a word, the Ghost takes Scrooge to a graveyard, where Scrooge sees the neglected grave – his own. In anguish he cries out to the Ghost for mercy, swearing to change the course of the future.


Redemption 
Suddenly, Scrooge finds himself back in his own room and immediately sets out to make good on his promise. Bubbling with joy, he anonymously sends a large turkey to the Cratchit family, flags down the previous day’s charity solicitor and promises a large sum, goes to church and spends the afternoon with Fred’s family – much to their surprise and delight. The following day, catching Bob Cratchit coming in late to work, Scrooge surprises him by proposing to raise his salary and assist his struggling family.

Laura Welsh Berg

Laura Welsh Berg*

Mother/Belle/Fred’s Wife/Ensemble

Fourteen seasons at Great Lakes Theater | Shows with GLT: Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet), Mamma Mia! (Rosie), Hamlet (Hamlet), And Then There Were None (Vera), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline), Witness for the Prosecution, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III, Sweeney Todd, The Tempest, Hay Fever, My Fair Lady, All’s Well That Ends Well, Major Barbara, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, A Funny Thing…Forum,and She Stoops to Conquer. At Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival: Twelfth Night (Viola) and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Speed). Chicago credits: The Farnsworth Invention at Timeline Theater, Arms and the Man at Centerstage and Mill Fire at Sheil Park. She holds a BA from Baldwin Wallace University and an MFA from The Theater School at DePaul. L'MLS. Fourteen seasons at Great Lakes Theater | Shows with GLT: Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet), Mamma Mia! (Rosie), Hamlet (Hamlet), And Then There Were None (Vera), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline), Witness for the Prosecution, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Richard III, Sweeney Todd, The Tempest, Hay Fever, My Fair Lady, All’s Well That Ends Well, Major Barbara, Macbeth, Measure for Measure, A Funny Thing…Forum,and She...more

Lynn Robert Berg

Lynn Robert Berg*

Ebenezer Scrooge

Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | For GLT: Mr. Mayhew (Witness for the Prosecution), Macbeth (Macbeth), Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), The Ghost and Player King (Hamlet), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Richard III (Richard III), Frank Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Polixenes (The Winter’s Tale), Doctor Parker (Bat Boy: The Musical), Caliban (The Tempest), Demetrius (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Other credits: Don Armado (Love’s Labour’s Lost), Dr. Watson (The Hound of the Baskervilles) with Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival; Hucklebee (The Fantasticks), Bill Walker (Major Barbara), Edmund (King Lear), Hastings (She Stoops to Conquer) with Idaho Shakespeare Festival. MFA from the University of Delaware Professional Theater Training Program. SLL’M Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | For GLT: Mr. Mayhew (Witness for the Prosecution), Macbeth (Macbeth), Scrooge (A Christmas Carol), The Ghost and Player King (Hamlet), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Richard III (Richard III), Frank Ford (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Polixenes (The Winter’s Tale), Doctor Parker (Bat Boy: The Musical), Caliban...more

Kelsey Anne Brown

Kelsey Anne Brown

Miss Elizabeth/Fan/Martha Cratchit/Ensemble

Great Lakes Theater debut season: Kelsey is thrilled to be a part of the 30th anniversary of A Christmas Carol after appearing in Mamma Mia! and Pride and Prejudice this season! Favorite credits include Lizzie U/s in Lizzie (Playhouse Square), Charity in Anything Goes (Baldwin Wallace University), and Cheerleader/Flyer in Bring It On (Beck Center for the Arts). Kelsey will be graduating in May from the Music Theatre program at Baldwin Wallace University. She is overjoyed to spend the holidays here with GLT and would like to thank her amazing professors, friends and family for their continuous love and support. @kelseyannebrown Great Lakes Theater debut season: Kelsey is thrilled to be a part of the 30th anniversary of A Christmas Carol after appearing in Mamma Mia! and Pride and Prejudice this season! Favorite credits include Lizzie U/s in Lizzie (Playhouse Square), Charity in Anything Goes (Baldwin Wallace University), and Cheerleader/Flyer in Bring...more

Aled Davies

Aled Davies*

Second Charity Man/Mr. Fezziwig/Rich Man 1

Nineteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previously for GLT: Sir Wilfrid Robarts, QC in Witness for the Prosecution, Sir William Lucas/Mr. Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice, Seyton the Porter in Macbeth, Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol, Marcellus/The Gravedigger in Hamlet, Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, The Old Actor in The Fantasticks, Scrooge/Samuels in A Christmas Carol, King Lear in King Lear, John Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Your Chairman in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Dorn in The Seagull, Deputy  Nineteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previously for GLT: Sir Wilfrid Robarts, QC in Witness for the Prosecution, Sir William Lucas/Mr. Gardiner in Pride and Prejudice, Seyton the Porter in Macbeth, Mr. Fezziwig in A Christmas Carol, Marcellus/The Gravedigger in Hamlet, Colonel Pickering in My Fair Lady, The Old Actor...more

Jodi Dominick

Jodi Dominick*

Jane/Mrs. Cratchit/Charwoman/Ensemble

Eleven seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: Witness for the ProsecutionWait Until DarkMamma Mia!, Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Sweeney Todd, The MousetrapCabaretInto the WoodsTwelfth NightAn Ideal Husband, The Imaginary InvalidMy Fair Lady, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Richard III. Ten seasons at The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, GLT’s sister company. Other theaters: New World Stages, Hudson Backstage Theater, The Beck Center, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Hayworth Theatre, Dobama Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Jodi is a graduate of Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. Eleven seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: Witness for the ProsecutionWait Until DarkMamma Mia!, Pride and Prejudice, Les Misérables, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Sweeney Todd, The MousetrapCabaretInto the WoodsTwelfth NightAn Ideal Husband, The Imaginary InvalidMy Fair Lady, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Richard III. Ten seasons at The Idaho Shakespeare Festival, GLT’s...more

David Holbert

David Holbert

Master Richard/Peter Cratchit/Dick Wilkins/Ensemble

Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: David is thrilled to be returning to the GLT stage. Some of his recent credits include: Newsies (Crutchie) and Footloose (Jeter/ Willard U/S) at Clinton Showboat, Hair (Tribe/ Claude U/S), Bring It On (Twig) and In The Heights (Ensemble/Sonnie U/S) at Beck Center, West Side Story (Baby John) at Baldwin Wallace, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame (Quasimodo) at Players Guild Theatre, Mamma Mia! (Ensemble) at Great Lakes Theater. David would like to thank God, his family and friends, BWMT19 and the faculty at BW. For more information visit DavidHolbert.com or on Instagram @_davidholbert. Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: David is thrilled to be returning to the GLT stage. Some of his recent credits include: Newsies (Crutchie) and Footloose (Jeter/ Willard U/S) at Clinton Showboat, Hair (Tribe/ Claude U/S), Bring It On (Twig) and In The Heights (Ensemble/Sonnie U/S) at Beck Center, West Side...more

Patrick John Kiernan

Patrick John Kiernan*

Streetsinger/Christmas Past/Christmas Future/Ensemble

Five seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Patrick is delighted to return to Great Lakes Theater for the 30th production of A Christmas Carol! Most recently, he played Cassius in Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s touring “Shakespearience” production of Julius Caesar. Favorite credits include Guildenstern in Hamlet (Great Lakes Theater), Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet (Lake Tahoe Shakespeare - Young Shakespeare), Jake in Shiner (Good Luck Macbeth) and the Narrator in Side by Side by Sondheim (Shadowland Stages). In addition to his work onstage, Patrick is a sound designer whose work has appeared off-Broadway and in regional theaters around the country. Many thanks to the cast, crew and staff at Great Lakes Theater for their support of this magical production! For you, DM. . Five seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Patrick is delighted to return to Great Lakes Theater for the 30th production of A Christmas Carol! Most recently, he played Cassius in Idaho Shakespeare Festival’s touring “Shakespearience” production of Julius Caesar. Favorite credits include Guildenstern in Hamlet (Great Lakes Theater), Mercutio in Romeo and...more

Roderick  Lawrence

Roderick Lawrence*

Young Scrooge/Nephew Fred/Ensemble

Great Lakes Theater debut season: Blessed and grateful to be home for the holidays and performing in Cleveland for the first time in 7 years! Credits: Television: Comedy Centrals "Broad City," Film: “What The Heart Wants” (coming 2019), “IMMUNE” (MIFF BEST SHORT), National Tour: The Lion King(SIMBA U/S). NYC/LA: OTHELLO in John Leguizamo’s “OTHELLO: THE REMIX”, “Bebe Winans ALT” in BORN FOR THIS: Bebe Winans Story. August Rush: The Musical, "YOUTH" in Passing Strange(Playhouse Square). Love to God, Mom, Pops, Evan, Shelby, Granny, Aunts, Cousins, Vicky B and Camille. Baldwin Wallace Music Theatre. Follow @rodericklaw ~Life is a mistake that only art can correct. Great Lakes Theater debut season: Blessed and grateful to be home for the holidays and performing in Cleveland for the first time in 7 years! Credits: Television: Comedy Centrals "Broad City," Film: “What The Heart Wants” (coming 2019), “IMMUNE” (MIFF BEST SHORT), National Tour: The Lion King(SIMBA U/S). NYC/LA: OTHELLO...more

Colleen Longshaw

Colleen Longshaw*

Cynthia/Mrs. Fezziwig/Laundress/Ensemble

Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Colleen Longshaw is excited be returning to Great Lakes Theater in this heartwarming Cleveland tradition. Colleen is a Cleveland, Ohio native who holds an MFA in acting from Kent State University. Credits include: Kiss me, Kate (National Tour), The Groove Factory (New York Music Theatre Festival), Hairspray, Caroline or Change, Fences, The Full Monty, Piano Lesson, Sister Act, Aida, Starmites, Made in America, A Christmas Carol, The Color Purple, South Pacific, Dreamgirls, Once On This Island, Big River, Avenue X, Godspell, The Buddy Holly Story, Twelfth Night. God bless us, everyone. Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Colleen Longshaw is excited be returning to Great Lakes Theater in this heartwarming Cleveland tradition. Colleen is a Cleveland, Ohio native who holds an MFA in acting from Kent State University. Credits include: Kiss me, Kate (National Tour), The Groove Factory (New York Music Theatre...more

Andrew May

Andrew May*

Topper/Miner/Rich Man 3/Ensemble

Nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Andrew has lost count of how many times he has been happily affiliated with this production either acting, directing or both. It is the gift that keeps on giving to him, this company and community - to the children who grew up performing in it and to their dedicated families that make it possible.  Thank you Charles Dickens for continuing to teach the lesson which we seem to keep forgetting. We may never learn it completely, but if weren’t for Dickens’ compelling “ghost” of a reminder we most certainly would be more amiss. Nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Andrew has lost count of how many times he has been happily affiliated with this production either acting, directing or both. It is the gift that keeps on giving to him, this company and community - to the children who grew up performing in it...more

Jessie Cope Miller

Jessie Cope Miller*

Debtor’s Wife/Ensemble

Eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: Macbeth and Love’s Labour’s Lost at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Into the Woods at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theater, as well as A Christmas Carol. Other credits: Abuela Claudia (In The Heights), Lady of the Lake (Monty Python’s Spamalot), Irene Molloy (Hello Dolly!) and Leading Player (Pippin). A graduate of the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music and a proud Actors’ Equity member since 2005. Many thanks to the entire company. Much love to Marlowe, family and friends. For Dougfred, Always. Eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: Macbeth and Love’s Labour’s Lost at Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Into the Woods at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and Great Lakes Theater, as well as A Christmas Carol. Other credits: Abuela Claudia (In The Heights), Lady of the Lake (Monty Python’s Spamalot), Irene Molloy (Hello Dolly!) and Leading Player...more

David Anthony Smith

David Anthony Smith*

Marley/Lighthouse Keeper/Rich Man 2/Undertaker

Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | GLT: Vincentio/Ensemble (Witness for the Prosecution), Prospero (The Tempest), Iago (Othello), Jaques (As You Like It), Duke of Buckingham (Richard III), Muggeridge/Christmas Present/Debtor (A Christmas Carol), Viscount Goring (An Ideal Husband), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Macduff (Macbeth), Benedick (Much Ado About Nothing), Sergius (Arms and the Man) and Algernon (The Importance of Being Earnest). He has performed at the Tony Award-winning Old Globe Theater in San Diego, South Coast Repertory, Laguna Playhouse, Sierra Rep, Madison Rep and Shakespeare festivals of Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Garden Grove, Rhode Island, Nevada and Lake Tahoe. Forever and a day — Natalia. Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | GLT: Vincentio/Ensemble (Witness for the Prosecution), Prospero (The Tempest), Iago (Othello), Jaques (As You Like It), Duke of Buckingham (Richard III), Muggeridge/Christmas Present/Debtor (A Christmas Carol), Viscount Goring (An Ideal Husband), Bottom (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Malvolio (Twelfth Night), Macduff (Macbeth), Benedick (Much Ado...more

Nick Steen

Nick Steen*

Father/Bob Cratchit/Ensemble

Seven seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Nick is deeply honored to return to the Hanna. Previous roles include: Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Sam in Mamma Mia!, MacDuff in Macbeth, Theseus and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Laertes in Hamlet, Mike Talman in Wait Until Dark, Phillip Lombard in And Then There Were None, Clifford in Deathtrap, Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol. Nick holds an MFA from the American Conservatory Theater. Nick hosts an automotive webseries, Gearhead Garage, that he and his wife Nicki created. Nick has endless gratitude for his family and his wife. <4 you, my gorgeous fish! www.NickSteen.com Seven seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Nick is deeply honored to return to the Hanna. Previous roles include: Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice, Sam in Mamma Mia!, MacDuff in Macbeth, Theseus and Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Laertes in Hamlet, Mike Talman in Wait Until Dark, Phillip Lombard...more

Alex Syiek

Alex Syiek*

Muggeridge/Christmas Present/Debtor/Ensemble

Five seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous GLT credits: Bill in Mamma Mia!, Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice, Clopin in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Snout/Cobweb in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Factory Foreman/Claquesous/Grantaire in Les Misérables, Richmond in Richard III. Other favorite credits: Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Color and Light Theatre Ensemble), Bob White in White Christmas (Northern Stage), Mr. Franklin in Passing Strange (14th Street Theatre). BM in Music Theatre performance from Baldwin Wallace University and an MFA in Musical Theatre Writing from NYU. Proud member of Actor’s Equity. He would love to thank his mother, father and sister for their support.www.alexsyiek.com Five seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous GLT credits: Bill in Mamma Mia!, Fitzwilliam in Pride and Prejudice, Clopin in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Snout/Cobweb in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pistol in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Factory Foreman/Claquesous/Grantaire in Les Misérables, Richmond in Richard III. Other favorite credits: Andrew Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Color and Light Theatre Ensemble), Bob...more

M.A. Taylor

M.A. Taylor*

First Charity Man/Helmsman/Joe the Keeper/Ensemble

Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes | M.A. gladly returns to share his work with the generous citizens of Cuyahoga County. Previous credits include: Tailor/Ensemble (Taming of the Shrew), Carter/Dr. Wyatt (Witness for the Prosecution), Charity Man/Old Joe (A Christmas Carol), Murderer (Macbeth), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Reynaldo (Hamlet), Feste (Twelfth Night), Doolittle (My Fair Lady), Rogers (And Then There Were None), Nathaniel (Love’s Labor’s Lost). Also performed at PTTP/Rep, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and Boise Contemporary Theater. He holds an MFA from the University of Delaware’s Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP). Many thanks to his families (genetic & professional). To the memory of his brother, Dougfred Miller. Forever. Seventeen seasons with Great Lakes | M.A. gladly returns to share his work with the generous citizens of Cuyahoga County. Previous credits include: Tailor/Ensemble (Taming of the Shrew), Carter/Dr. Wyatt (Witness for the Prosecution), Charity Man/Old Joe (A Christmas Carol), Murderer (Macbeth), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Reynaldo (Hamlet), Feste (Twelfth...more

Charlotta  Banzhaf

Charlotta Banzhaf

Skate Girl/Ensemble

Great Lakes Theater debut season: Previous shows at University School Productions include: All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Being in a Bad Play, Schprintze in Fiddler on the Roof, and Lucy in Narnia. Other works include: James and the Giant Peach with HYT, Woodstock in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and Jail House Rock at HBT. Charlotta is a sixth grader at Ruffing Montessori. She enjoys voice lessons and free time with her friends and family. Great Lakes Theater debut season: Previous shows at University School Productions include: All I Really Need to Know I Learned by Being in a Bad Play, Schprintze in Fiddler on the Roof, and Lucy in Narnia. Other works include: James and the Giant Peach with HYT, Woodstock in You’re a Good...more

Ian McLaughlin

Ian McLaughlin

Master William/Tiny Tim

Four seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous credits include: Winthrop Paroo in The Music Man (Idaho  Shakespeare Festival), Michael Banks in Mary Poppins Jr. (82nd Street Theatre), Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater), Randy in A Christmas Story (Cleveland Play House) and Bud Ogden- Porter in Mothers and Sons (Beck Center for the Arts). He has studied acting with Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House and Broadway Artist Alliance in NYC. Many thanks to family, friends, Vicky and the entire cast and crew for their never ending love and support to help him follow his dreams. Four seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous credits include: Winthrop Paroo in The Music Man (Idaho  Shakespeare Festival), Michael Banks in Mary Poppins Jr. (82nd Street Theatre), Tiny Tim in A Christmas Carol (Great Lakes Theater), Randy in A Christmas Story (Cleveland Play House) and Bud Ogden- Porter in Mothers...more

Marlowe Miller

Marlowe Miller

Sled Boy/Boy Scrooge/Ignorance

Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Marlowe is excited to return professionally as an actor with Great Lakes Theater. She’s practically grew up around GLT with her mom and dad, Jessie Cope and the late Dougfred Miller, and loves being with her theater family and friends. She’s also seen some of the best musicals out there like WickedMatildaMean Girls and even Hamilton on Broadway, but her favorite musical is Waitress! When Marlowe isn’t acting, singing and dancing, she loves to draw, read, write stories and play with friends. She sends love to all this holiday season, but most especially to her dad.. Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Marlowe is excited to return professionally as an actor with Great Lakes Theater. She’s practically grew up around GLT with her mom and dad, Jessie Cope and the late Dougfred Miller, and loves being with her theater family and friends. She’s also seen some...more

Owen Mills

Owen Mills

Delivery Boy/Ensemble

Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Owen attends North Royalton Middle School. He is thrilled to be back at GLT after playing Delivery Boy in A Christmas Carol last season. Other credits: Baloo in Jungle Book (Wandering Aesthetics), Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad (82nd Street Theater), Host in HoHoHo! The Santa Claus Chronicles (Broadview Heights Spotlights), Newsies (Near West) and Winthrop in The Music Man (North Royalton High School). He made his film debut in Cleveland's 48 hour film festival as Eddie in Happy (Happy Dog Studios). He would like to thank GTL for this opportunity and his family for all the support. Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Owen attends North Royalton Middle School. He is thrilled to be back at GLT after playing Delivery Boy in A Christmas Carol last season. Other credits: Baloo in Jungle Book (Wandering Aesthetics), Toad in A Year with Frog and Toad (82nd Street Theater), Host in...more

Laurien Palmer

Laurien Palmer

Soloist/Street Child

Three seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Previous roles include: Zacco e Vanzetti, soloist and choir, The International Opera Theatre, Citta Della Pieve, Italy; A Christmas Story, Esther Jane, Cleveland Playhouse; The Nutcraker, Clara, Bassett Elementary School; Godspell, ensemble, Mary Poppins, ensemble, Near West Theatre. Laurien trains with Valerie Saalbach, NYC, Denise Simon, NYC, Broadway Artists Alliance, Cleveland Playhouse, Cleveland City Dance, and A Class Act NY. Laurien is thrilled to be back at GLT for another season of A Christmas Carol. She would like to thank her family, friends and Lee Burneson Middle School for supporting her. Enjoy the show! Three seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Previous roles include: Zacco e Vanzetti, soloist and choir, The International Opera Theatre, Citta Della Pieve, Italy; A Christmas Story, Esther Jane, Cleveland Playhouse; The Nutcraker, Clara, Bassett Elementary School; Godspell, ensemble, Mary Poppins, ensemble, Near West Theatre. Laurien trains with Valerie Saalbach, NYC, Denise Simon, NYC, Broadway Artists Alliance,...more

Avery Pyo

Avery Pyo

Master William/Tiny Tim

Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: A Christmas Carol, Oz, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Little Mermaid Jr, James and the Giant Peach, Madagascar Jr, Pirates of Penzance, We the People, Big Bad Musical, Ho Ho Ho! The Santa Claus Chronicles, Jungle Book, Jr. and Willy Wonka. Other theaters: Medina Showbiz, Academy of Dramatic Arts, 82nd Street Theater, Buckeye Community Theater, Ohio Youth Ensemble and Spotlights. Avery is a fifth-grader at C.R. Towslee Elementary School in Brunswick, OH. Avery would like to thank her family for all their support in chasing her dreams. Two seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Previous shows include: A Christmas Carol, Oz, Best Christmas Pageant Ever, Little Mermaid Jr, James and the Giant Peach, Madagascar Jr, Pirates of Penzance, We the People, Big Bad Musical, Ho Ho Ho! The Santa Claus Chronicles, Jungle Book, Jr. and Willy Wonka. Other theaters: Medina Showbiz, Academy...more

Brenna Sherman

Brenna Sherman

Miss Polly/Sarah Cratchit/Want

Three seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Brenna is happy to be back with GLT! She performed in The Music Man this summer in Boise at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and is excited to reprise her role in Cleveland. Some previous shows include: A Christmas Carol (Sarah Cratchit/Want) with GLT, Once (Ivanka) at the Beck Center and Annie (Molly) at the Brecksville Little Theatre. She has had supporting roles in The Last Summer on Netflix and The Clovehitch Killer on Hulu. She enjoys playing basketball, anything artsy and swimming. Thanks to Vicky Bussert for this opportunity. Love to Mom, Dad and her brother, Brady. Instagram @brennasherman   Three seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Brenna is happy to be back with GLT! She performed in The Music Man this summer in Boise at Idaho Shakespeare Festival and is excited to reprise her role in Cleveland. Some previous shows include: A Christmas Carol (Sarah Cratchit/Want) with GLT, Once (Ivanka) at the Beck Center and Annie (Molly) at...more

Sun-Hee Smith

Sun-Hee Smith

Miss Abigail/Belinda Cratchit/Ensemble

Three seasons with Great Lakes | Sun-Hee was previously in A Christmas Carol with GLT. Recently, she performed in South Pacific at Blossom Music Center with the Cleveland Orchestra. Her other credits include A Christmas Story at Cleveland Play House, Snow White’s Adventures and Hillbilly Holiday at The Beck Center, The Music Man at Cain Park, La Bohème with Cleveland Opera Theater and Mary Poppins and Newsies at Near West Theater. As a winning author in the 10-10 Festival of New Plays, her play “The Heart of a Princess” was produced by Chagrin Valley Little Theater. She plays piano and flute and enjoys singing, volleyball and softball. Three seasons with Great Lakes | Sun-Hee was previously in A Christmas Carol with GLT. Recently, she performed in South Pacific at Blossom Music Center with the Cleveland Orchestra. Her other credits include A Christmas Story at Cleveland Play House, Snow White’s Adventures and Hillbilly Holiday at The Beck Center, The Music Man at Cain Park, La Bohème with Cleveland Opera...more

Corlyn   Marie Stauffer

Corlyn Marie Stauffer

Street Child/Swing

Great Lakes Theater debut season: Corlyn is honored and excited to part of her first production at Great Lakes Theater. Most recently seen as Les in Newsie’s (Near West Theatre) and Mouse in A Year with Frog & Toad (82nd Street Theater). She has appeared in three productions with Triple Threat Summer Camp. Corlyn has been dancing competitively for 8 years in tap, jazz, hip-hop and musical theater. When not acting, she loves spending time with family and friends. Corlyn is 11 years old and is in sixth grade at St. Albert the Great School. Great Lakes Theater debut season: Corlyn is honored and excited to part of her first production at Great Lakes Theater. Most recently seen as Les in Newsie’s (Near West Theatre) and Mouse in A Year with Frog & Toad (82nd Street Theater). She has appeared in three productions with Triple Threat...more

Chase Christopher Zadd

Chase Christopher Zadd

Master Robert/James Cratchit/Adolescent Scrooge/Ensemble

Eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Chase is 13 years old and in the eighth grade at Bethany Lutheran School. Chase’s previous credits include: Near West Theatre in Newsies, Show Boat and Xanadu; Cassidy Theatre in Titanic, Children of Eden, Alice in Wonderland, Show Business and Into the Woods (Jack). Chase was also the understudy for Colin Craven in GLT’s production of  A Secret Garden. Chase has been involved in the movie, The Last Summer, and commercials. Chase appreciates everyone who has helped him realize his dream of musical theater, and thanks his family and friends for their ongoing support. He thanks GLT for this awesome opportunity once again! Eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Chase is 13 years old and in the eighth grade at Bethany Lutheran School. Chase’s previous credits include: Near West Theatre in Newsies, Show Boat and Xanadu; Cassidy Theatre in Titanic, Children of Eden, Alice in Wonderland, Show Business and Into the Woods (Jack)....more

Understudies for A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Understudies for A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Aled Davies*, Nick Drake, Shelby Griswold, Gillian Han, Charles Miller, Jessie Cope Miller*

* Members of the Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Charles Fee

Producing Artistic Director

Eighteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Directing credits at GLT: Witness for the Prosecution, Misery, Macbeth, Hamlet, And Then There Were None, Dial “M” for Murder, Deathtrap, Blithe Spirit, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hay Fever, The Importance of Being Earnest, Arms and the Man and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Charles holds a unique position in the American theater as producing artistic director of three independently operated, professional theater companies: Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio (since 2002); Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise, Idaho (since 1991) and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival in Incline Village, Nevada (since 2010). His appointments have resulted in a dynamic and groundbreaking producing model for the companies, in which more than 60 plays have been shared since 2002. In 2009, Charles was honored to receive recognition for his leadership by the Cleveland Arts Prize as a recipient of the Martha Joseph Award. Other awards include The Mayor’s and Governor’s awards for Excellence in the Arts, Idaho. From 1988 to 1992, he held the position of artistic director at the Sierra Repertory Theatre in California. He has also worked with The Old Globe, La Jolla Playhouse, the Milwaukee and Missouri repertory theaters, Actor’s Theatre of Phoenix and the Los Angeles Shakespeare Festival. In addition to his work with the companies in Ohio, Idaho and Nevada, Charles is active within the community. He has served as a member of the strategic planning committee for the Morrison Center, as producer of the FUNDSY Award Gala (’96, ’98 and 2000), and as producer of the 1996 Idaho Governor’s Awards in the Arts. Charles has served on the board of the Boise Metro Chamber of Commerce and as a member of the Downtown Rotary Club. He received his BA from the University of the Pacific and Master of Fine Arts from the University of California, San Diego. Along with his wife, Lidia and daughter, Alexa, Charles resides in Boise, Cleveland and Lake Tahoe — a feat that is only possible because of the incredible love and support of his family, and the generous communities he serves! Eighteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Directing credits at GLT: Witness for the Prosecution, Misery, Macbeth, Hamlet, And Then There Were None, Dial “M” for Murder, Deathtrap, Blithe Spirit, Romeo and Juliet, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, All’s Well That Ends Well, Hay Fever, The Importance of Being Earnest, Arms and the Man and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). Charles holds a...more

Gerald Freedman

Director/Adaptor

Thirty-one seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Gerald Freedman is Dean Emeritus of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, one of the leading undergraduate acting conservatories in the nation. A book about Gerald’s life and teachings, The School of Doing, was published last year, and is available at the GLT gift shop and online. An Obie Award winner and the first American invited to direct at the Globe Theatre in London, Gerald is regarded internationally for his direction of productions of classic drama, musicals, operas, new plays, and television. He served as leading director of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival from 1960 to 1971, the last four years as artistic director. He was co-artistic director of John Houseman’s The Acting Company from 1974 to 1977, artistic director of the American Shakespeare Theatre from 1978 to 1979, and artistic director of Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland, Ohio, from 1985 to 1997. Gerald has staged 29 of Shakespeare’s plays, along with dozens of other world classics. He made theater history with his off-Broadway premiere of the landmark rock musical Hair, which opened the Public Theater in 1967. Broadway direction includes The Robber Bridegroom; The Grand Tour; the revival of West Side Story, co-directed with Jerome Robbins; the premiere of Arthur Miller’s The Creation of the World and Other Business and Shaw’s Mrs. Warren’s Profession. Gerald also directed opera productions for the Opera Society of Washington (Kennedy Center), the San Francisco Opera Company and the New York City Opera. Prior to becoming Dean of the UNC School of the Arts, he also taught at Yale and Juilliard. A native of Lorain, Ohio, he received both his BS and his MA (summa cum laude) from Northwestern University, and trained with Alvina Krause, Emmy Joseph and at The Actors Studio. Thirty-one seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Gerald Freedman is Dean Emeritus of the School of Drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, one of the leading undergraduate acting conservatories in the nation. A book about Gerald’s life and teachings, The School of Doing, was published last year, and is available at the GLT gift shop and online. An Obie Award winner and the first American invited to direct at the Globe Theatre...more

Victoria Bussert

Staging

Thirty-four seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Victoria returns for her thirty-fourth season at GLT, balancing the professional and academic worlds between her active life as an award-winning free-lance director while holding the position of Director of Music Theatre for Baldwin Wallace University. Nationally, her work has been seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, York Theatre, New World Stages, Goodspeed Opera, Playhouse Square, Portland Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Anchorage Opera. Her international credits include Friar Tuck in Russia, The Who's Tommy in Brazil, the Danish premiere of Avenue Q (2012 Reumert Award nomination) and the European premieres of Lizzie and [title of show] for the Fredericia Teater in Denmark. Victoria made her London directorial debut with the critically-acclaimed production of Lizzie and went on to direct it in Chicago as the inaugural production for Firebrand Theatre, the first feminist musical theatre company in the country. Other recent directing assignments have included Mamma Mia, for ISF/GLT and the academic premiere of Once for the Beck Center; in November, she will tackle the academic premiere of Kinky Boots for BW.  Victoria was recently awarded the 2019 Cleveland Arts Prize in Theatre and Dance.  Many thanks to her "theater" family, Matt, Jacqui, Jeff, Tracy and David; her inspirational BW student and grad family; and a very special thanks to her "family" family, Dale and Ondie  victoriabussert.com Thirty-four seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Victoria returns for her thirty-fourth season at GLT, balancing the professional and academic worlds between her active life as an award-winning free-lance director while holding the position of Director of Music Theatre for Baldwin Wallace University. Nationally, her work has been seen at Manhattan Theatre Club, York Theatre, New World Stages, Goodspeed Opera, Playhouse Square, Portland Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Anchorage Opera. Her international credits include Friar...more

Mary Jo Dondlinger

Lighting Designer

Thirty-one seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Career design credits include productions for Circle in the Square, The Irish Repertory Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, TheatreWorks (Hartford) and many others. Mary Jo has long been associated with the York Theatre Company off-Broadway where she designed the original production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), as well as many other musicals and plays. Most recent credits at Great Lakes Theater are The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Fantasticks, Les Misérables, Sweeney Toddand Sondheim on Sondheim.  Thirty-one seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Career design credits include productions for Circle in the Square, The Irish Repertory Theater, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, American Ballet Theatre, Boston Ballet, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, TheatreWorks (Hartford) and many others. Mary Jo has long been associated with the York Theatre Company off-Broadway where she designed the original production of The Musical of Musicals (The Musical!), as well as many other musicals and plays. Most recent...more

John Ezell

Scenic Designer

Forty-two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Award-winning associate artistic director and director of design at GLT under Vincent Dowling, Gerald Freedman and James Bundy. He has designed for Broadway; New York Shakespeare Festival; NY Public Theatre; Crossroads Theatre; Roundabout Theatre; Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger; Williamstown; Berkshire; Old Globe; Coconut Grove; Asolo State Theatre; Arizona Theatre Company; Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Dallas Theatre Center; Indiana and Kansas City repertory theaters; Cincinnati Playhouse; Hong Kong Repertory Theatre; Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa; the Istanbul Cultural Olympics; Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts; Lyric Opera; Blackstone Theatre and Second City in Chicago; Cincinnati Ballet; Royal Danish Ballet; Royal Theatre in Copenhagen; Swedish Riksteater and the Cullberg Ballet in Stockholm; and CBS, PBS-TV and Swedish State Television. His drawings have been exhibited in New York, San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Prague and Brussels. His work received the Award for Experimental Television Art in Milan, Italy; two Corporation for Public Broadcasting Awards for Excellence; and 15 national Critic’s Circle awards, including the 2011-2012 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for best professional sets at the historic Westport Country Playhouse. He is a Fellow of the College of the American Theatre at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Forty-two seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Award-winning associate artistic director and director of design at GLT under Vincent Dowling, Gerald Freedman and James Bundy. He has designed for Broadway; New York Shakespeare Festival; NY Public Theatre; Crossroads Theatre; Roundabout Theatre; Shakespeare Theatre at the Folger; Williamstown; Berkshire; Old Globe; Coconut Grove; Asolo State Theatre; Arizona Theatre Company; Milwaukee Repertory Theater; Dallas Theatre Center; Indiana and Kansas City repertory theaters; Cincinnati Playhouse; Hong Kong Repertory Theatre; Market...more

Gene Emerson Friedman

Scenic Designer

Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: Gene has designed Gerald Freedman’s adaptations of A Christmas Carol and People Who Led to My Plays, as well as The Dearest Friends, The Boor, The Enemies, The World of Sholom Aleichem and What the Butler Saw (Great Lakes Theater Festival). Other designs include Calderon’s Life is a Dream (New York’s Lincoln Center); Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Second City Does Arizona (Arizona Theatre Company); A Christmas Carol, Death of a Salesman, Master Class, I’m Not Rappaport (Kansas City Rep); The Music Man, Carousel, La Cage aux Folles (Stages- Saint Louis); Death and the Maiden (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis). Gene is architectural historian of the Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe [1629] at Zuni Pueblo, and he serves as archivist and curator of the Casa de Santo Nino also at Zuni. He is a tenured associate professor of design at UMKC. His fine art, Stages Of Conversion, has been seen at multiple galleries. Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: Gene has designed Gerald Freedman’s adaptations of A Christmas Carol and People Who Led to My Plays, as well as The Dearest Friends, The Boor, The Enemies, The World of Sholom Aleichem and What the Butler Saw (Great Lakes Theater Festival). Other designs include Calderon’s Life is a Dream (New York’s Lincoln Center); Richard III, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello, Romeo and Juliet (Heart of America Shakespeare Festival); Second City...more

Tim Kinzel

Stage Manager

Nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Tim has stage managed more than 30 productions for Great Lakes Theater. Recent credits include: Mamma Mia!, Witness for the Prosecution, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol, Beehive: The 60’s Musical, Misery, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tim has multiple Stage Management credits from the following companies: Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizon, Cherry Lane Theater NYC and Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre. Cleveland native and diehard sports fan. Thank you for supporting the arts at Playhouse Square. Tim is a graduate of Cleveland State University. Thank you to all who have made the last leg of this journey possible. 10! Nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Tim has stage managed more than 30 productions for Great Lakes Theater. Recent credits include: Mamma Mia!, Witness for the Prosecution, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol, Beehive: The 60’s Musical, Misery, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Tim has multiple Stage Management credits from the following companies: Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizon, Cherry Lane Theater NYC and Houston’s Stages Repertory Theatre. Cleveland native and diehard sports...more

Stan Kozak

Sound Designer

Thirty-three seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Stan Kozak, among his more than 50 design credits, most recently designed sound for Bat Boy: the Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Comedy of Errors. His work in 1979 and 1981 with Geraldine Fitzgerald on Streetsongs at GLT led to the original cast album. Mr. Kozak was the resident sound designer for four seasons at the Porthouse Theatre Company, including productions of Driving Miss Daisy, Niteclub Confidential and And a Nightingale Sang. His collaborations with Victoria Bussert at Baldwin-Wallace College include productions of Chess, Hair, Cabaret, West Side Story, Tommy in Concert, the Ohio premiere of Stephen Sondheim’s Passion and one of the first nonprofessional productions of Phantom of the Opera. For Cain Park, his design credits include Secret Garden; Fiddler on the Roof; Bat Boy: the Musical; Tick, tick...Boom; Nine; The Wiz; and Pippin. Mr. Kozak has also designed sound for Dobama Theater, Cleveland Opera, Beck Center, the Jewish Community Theater and TrueNorth Cultural Arts. He has served as sound designer for the All-City Musical for the last nine seasons, as well as for the Ideastream Gala concert with Bebe Neuwirth in 2005. He was honored to be among the first group of LORT sound designers to achieve recognition in USA 829. Thirty-three seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Stan Kozak, among his more than 50 design credits, most recently designed sound for Bat Boy: the Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood and Comedy of Errors. His work in 1979 and 1981 with Geraldine Fitzgerald on Streetsongs at GLT led to the original cast album. Mr. Kozak was the resident sound designer for four seasons at the Porthouse Theatre Company, including productions of Driving Miss Daisy, Niteclub Confidential and...more

Jessica B. Lucas

Assistant Stage Manager

Seven seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Previous Assistant Stage Management credits include Mamma Mia!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, My Fair Lady, The Secret Garden, King Lear and A Christmas Carol with Great Lakes Theater, and Luna Gale with Cleveland Playhouse. Stage Management credits include Pride & Prejudice, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wait Until Dark with Great Lakes Theater. Jessica earned her BA in theater from the University of Scranton and is a proud member of AEA. GF, you are the best. Seven seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Previous Assistant Stage Management credits include Mamma Mia!, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, My Fair Lady, The Secret Garden, King Lear and A Christmas Carol with Great Lakes Theater, and Luna Gale with Cleveland Playhouse. Stage Management credits include Pride & Prejudice, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Wait Until Dark with Great Lakes Theater. Jessica earned her BA in theater from the University of Scranton and is a proud...more

Tom Mardikes

Sound Designer

Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: Tom Mardikes most recently designed sound for GLT’s summer 2005 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. His past designs have been for Julius CaesarThe DybbukKing LearHamlet and The Cherry Orchard. He has worked on more than 250 professional productions nationwide, where he has designed for Kansas City (formerly Missouri) Rep, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Starlight Theatre, the Unicorn Theatre, the Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout, Buffalo Studio Arena, Alley Theatre, Heart of America Shakespeare Festival and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. In the spring of 2015, he designed sound for Satchel Paige and the Kansas City Swing for Repertory Theatre St. Louis and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. He is a professor and the head of graduate sound design training at the nationally prominent professional theatre-training program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. In 2005, he co-founded Kansas City Actors Theatre that has successfully produced acclaimed productions with its artist-led, artist-driven mission. Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: Tom Mardikes most recently designed sound for GLT’s summer 2005 production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. His past designs have been for Julius CaesarThe DybbukKing LearHamlet and The Cherry Orchard. He has worked on more than 250 professional productions nationwide, where he has designed for Kansas City (formerly Missouri) Rep, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Starlight Theatre, the Unicorn Theatre, the Dallas Theatre Center, Syracuse Stage, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, the Roundabout,...more

James Scott

Costume Designer

Twenty-nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: James Scott has designed costumes for productions of works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Chekhov, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini at regional theaters and opera houses across the country. Among his favorite productions are Love’s Labour’s Lost for the New York Shakespeare Festival; Ten Little Indians, Arcadia, The Miracle Worker and The Most Happy Fella for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; The Merchant of Venice for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; Norma and Il trovatore for the Minnesota Opera; Il barbiere di Siviglia for the Washington Opera; MacBeth, Othello and The Taming of the Shrew for the Acting Company’s national tours; Funny Girl, Fiddler on the Roof and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg for the Sundance Theatre; and Sweeney Todd, I pagliacci, and Il viaggio a Reims for the Portland Opera in Oregon. His production credits for Great Lakes Theater span more than 20 years, and include Romeo and Juliet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Rough Crossing, As You Like It and A Little Night Music. Mr. Scott is a graduate of New York and Brown universities, and attended the School of Law at The City University of New York. He is also an elite figure-skater and is thrilled that Cleveland hosted the Gay Games in 2014. He would like to dedicate the design for this production in memory of Susan Gregg, director of Fallen Angels for Great Lakes Theater. Twenty-nine seasons with Great Lakes Theater: James Scott has designed costumes for productions of works by Shakespeare, Moliere, Ibsen, Chekhov, Mozart, Rossini, Verdi and Puccini at regional theaters and opera houses across the country. Among his favorite productions are Love’s Labour’s Lost for the New York Shakespeare Festival; Ten Little Indians, Arcadia, The Miracle Worker and The Most Happy Fella for the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; The Merchant of Venice for the Colorado Shakespeare Festival;...more

David Shimotakahara

Choreographer

Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: David Shimotakahara was a member of the Atlanta Ballet, Boston Repertory Ballet, Kathryn Posin Dance Company and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He performed with Ohio Ballet under the direction of Heinz Poll from 1983-1998. In 1998, he founded GroundWorks Dance Theater, for which he is Executive, Artistic Director. Based in Cleveland, the company is committed to creating and producing new work in dance. Mr. Shimotakahara has choreographed for opera and theater with Cleveland Opera, Great Lakes Theater, Cleveland Play House and the Dallas Theater Center. He has received seven Individual Artist Fellowships for Choreography from the Ohio Arts Council. In 1998, he received a McKnight Foundation Fellowship from the Minnesota Dance Alliance to create new work in the Minneapolis, St. Paul communities. Mr. Shimotakahara was awarded the 2000 Cleveland Arts Prize for Dance. In 2002, his work with GroundWorks Dance Theater was voted “One of 25 to Watch” by Dance Magazine. In 2007, he received the OhioDance award for Outstanding Contributions to the Advancement of the Dance Artform. In 2010 and 2014, Mr. Shimotakahara was a recipient of a Creative Workforce Fellowship, a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture, funded by Cuyahoga Arts and Culture. Thirty seasons at Great Lakes Theater: David Shimotakahara was a member of the Atlanta Ballet, Boston Repertory Ballet, Kathryn Posin Dance Company and Pittsburgh Ballet Theater. He performed with Ohio Ballet under the direction of Heinz Poll from 1983-1998. In 1998, he founded GroundWorks Dance Theater, for which he is Executive, Artistic Director. Based in Cleveland, the company is committed to creating and producing new work in dance. Mr. Shimotakahara has choreographed for opera and theater...more

Cynthia Stillings

Lighting Designer

Twenty-eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Cynthia Stillings designs regionally and nationally, and designed the Great Lakes Theater premiere of Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders. Opera and dance credits include Sweeney Todd, Carmen, Of Mice and Men, Man of La Mancha and Turandot for Cleveland Opera, where she was resident lighting designer; Tartuffe for Skylight Opera Theatre; and An American Festival for the Cincinnati Ballet. Regional theater credits include Utah Shakespearean Festival, where she designed The Matchmaker, Candida and the world premiere of the new musical Lend Me a Tenor, the Musical; Madison Repertory Theatre; Porthouse Theatre; Cain Park Theatre; The Contemporary American Theatre Company; Phoenix Theatre Circle and an award-winning production of Assassins for Players Theater Columbus. Ms. Stillings is currently Associate Dean of the College of the Arts at Kent State University. Twenty-eight seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Cynthia Stillings designs regionally and nationally, and designed the Great Lakes Theater premiere of Adrienne Kennedy’s Ohio State Murders. Opera and dance credits include Sweeney Todd, Carmen, Of Mice and Men, Man of La Mancha and Turandot for Cleveland Opera, where she was resident lighting designer; Tartuffe for Skylight Opera Theatre; and An American Festival for the Cincinnati Ballet. Regional theater credits include Utah Shakespearean Festival, where she designed The...more

Robert Waldman

Music Adaptor and Arranger

Thirty seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Robert Waldman has written primarily for the theater. He began his career as a protégé of Frank Loesser, and his music has been heard in Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo at Cleveland Play House and Edgardo Mine at the Guthrie Theater, as well as in GLT’s production of Glass Menagerie; in New York in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, The Heiress, Voices in the Dark; and Lincoln Center’s Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Ivanov, Dinner at Eight, The Rivals, Jon Robin Baitz’ A Fair Country and Ten Unknowns. Most recently, his work was heard in Wendy Wasserstein’s Third, David Mamet’s A Life in the Theatre and Peter Parnell’s The Rise and Rise of Daniel Rocket. Waldman composed the score for Broadway’s Here’s Where I Belong and The Robber Bridegroom , which was nominated for a Drama Desk Award, as well as winning most recently the 2016 Lucille Lortel Award in NYC for Outstanding Revival, and Florida’s Poinciana and Parker Playhouse’s revue of Lois Wyse’s Funny You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother. His music has been heard in Arthur Laurents’ 2 Lives; Hartford Stage’s musical, America’s Sweetheart; Long Wharf ’s As You Like It and The School for Scandal; Washington Shakespeare Theater’s Richard II and The Country Wife; as well as the Kennedy Center musical, Swing. Performances of Mr. Waldman’s compositions have been heard in films, on television, in ballets and in numerous commercials and concert halls. Illustrated collections of some 40 of his piano compositions for children have been published by G. Schirmer — among them A Swing Bag, A Rag Bag, A ¾ Bag and A Santa Bag. He has received a National Endowment for the Arts grant in musical theater, the Dramatists Guild of America’s Flora Roberts Award for Outstanding Music for the Theater and the JEFF Award in Chicago for Best Original Music for Driving Miss Daisy. Thirty seasons with Great Lakes Theater: Robert Waldman has written primarily for the theater. He began his career as a protégé of Frank Loesser, and his music has been heard in Alfred Uhry’s The Last Night of Ballyhoo at Cleveland Play House and Edgardo Mine at the Guthrie Theater, as well as in GLT’s production of Glass Menagerie; in New York in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Driving Miss Daisy, The Heiress, Voices in the Dark; and Lincoln...more

Matthew Webb

Music Director

Fourteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Matthew is music director for music theatre at Baldwin Wallace University. As music director for Great Lakes Theater: Mamma Mia!, Beehive, Forever Plaid, The Fantasticks, Sweeney Todd, Sondheim on Sondheim, Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol, Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Elsewhere: LIZZIE (Playhouse Square), Once (Beck Center), Hair (Cain Park and Kent State). Previous sound design at GLT: Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth and Hamlet. Many thanks to Vicky, Sara, Charlie and his incredible parents, Carol and Jerry. Fourteen seasons with Great Lakes Theater | Matthew is music director for music theatre at Baldwin Wallace University. As music director for Great Lakes Theater: Mamma Mia!, Beehive, Forever Plaid, The Fantasticks, Sweeney Todd, Sondheim on Sondheim, Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, Bat Boy: The Musical, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods, A Christmas Carol, Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Elsewhere: LIZZIE (Playhouse Square),...more

Monday, December 01, 2008

...richly deserves its title as Cleveland's most popular holiday play...

By The Plain Dealer

Friday, December 01, 2017

Great Lakes bakes up another wonderful 'Christmas Carol'

By Bob Abelman, The News Herald

For those who crave comfort and joy during the holiday season, GLT’s “A Christmas Carol” is a gift that keeps on giving.

Read the full review here

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"...thrilled by the current presentation of Christmas Carol."

By Jim (Audience Member)

"WE had not seen this in decades. The cast and staging was outstanding and we've been talking it up ever since. "

Sunday, December 01, 2013

"...marvelous adaptation...a fantastic set...The costumes are sumptuous..."

By The Plain Dealer

By Laura DeMarco

Bah, humbug! The very name Scrooge has become a part of our lexicon, as in "Don't be a . . ."

We have all seen Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" so many times, we think we know it by heart.

We've seen actors on stage do it, and Alastair Sim do it and George C. Scott do it, and Albert Finney do it, and Bill Murray do it, and Mickey Mouse do it, and Mr.Magoo do it even Barbie has stepped into the cruel lead role for a movie.

We have all seen "A Christmas Carol" so many times, we have ceased to be aware of what we are seeing, and hearing.

We see the figgy pudding, the warm and cozy English Christmas, the spooky ghosts, the cute Tiny Tim, the overnight transformation, the happy ending. Seeing it is a comfortable holiday ritual, one we don't put much thought into.

Until perhaps, we see it fresh through they eyes of a child as I did Saturday night, taking my 6-year-old daughter to her first viewing of the spirited classic.

Great Lakes Theater's marvelous adaptation, now in its 25th year, was the perfect introduction to Dickens' masterpiece: wonderfully balanced between the festive and serious, the light-hearted and dark, the fun and the scary.

The production, staged for the third time by Artistic Associate Sara Bruner, features a fantastic set. There's Scrooge's sparse office and bedroom, lovely English street scenes, ornamental Victorian drawing rooms and the haunting cemetery. The costumes are sumptuous, from the ladies gowns to the ghosts' robes. And the supernatural elements are handled with aplomb, suitably surprising with their smoke and chains and ghostly arrivals, but never hokey.

The scene in which the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge to a deserted moor where miners live in horrifying conditions yet gather to sing carols is especially moving. It's presented with star-like twinkling lights covering the back of the stage, the barely lit cast holding candles as they sing their heavenly songs and the ghost tells Scrooge of their horrific lives.

The production by former Artistic Director Gerald Freedman remains fresh, a winky tale within a tale that begins with the Cleveland family on Christmas Eve in their Victorian parlor. Scampy Master William (who will become Tiny Tim and was aptly played Saturday by 7-year-old Carly Marie Nelson with just the right amount of cuteness), begs to stay up and is allowed to join the family's reading of "A Christmas Carol."

William becomes the stand-in for the audience, the child hearing the story for the first time and hopefully inspiring the adult who has seen it all before to open their eyes to the play's full meaning.

Like everything the most progressive Dickens wrote, there is a social point to "A Christmas Carol" a quite serious one, told within the framework of a holiday event.

So begins the reading of his book by Mother (Laura Welsh Berg, also Belle and Mrs. Cratchit): "I have endeavored in this Ghostly little book, to raise the Ghost of an Idea, which shall not put my readers out of humor with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me."

Social reformer Dickens pulled no punches when describing the depth of Scrooge's cruelty, as when charity workers come to ask for alms.

"At this festive season of the year . . . Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.
"Are there no prisons?"

"Plenty of prisons..."

"And the workhouses. Are they still in operation?"

"Both very busy, sir..."

"Those who are badly off must go there."

"Many can't go there; and many would rather die."

"If they would rather die, they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population."

It's a shocking sequence, to which we have become enured over multiple viewings. But it shocked the child in the seat next to me and made Dickens' point new again.

A later segment about Scrooge's debtors praising his death by saying no one more cruel could have possibly taken on their debt can't help but recall the modern financial crisis. It shows again how timeless, and relevant, Dickens' concerns are whether or not we want to admit it.

And the infamous, heartbreaking street urchins of Ignorance and Want clinging to the Ghost of Christmas Present should shock viewers of all ages - as should the threat of Tiny Tim's death due to poverty.

"They are Man's," intones David Anthony Smith as the towering spirit, richly played with horror and mirth. " This boy is Ignorance and this girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased."

Fortunately, as Dickens wrote in his most famous story, the writing was erased, at least for his evolving protagonist.

Aled Davies, stepping into Scrooge's nightshirt for the sixth year, handles his change of heart with great nuance, hinting at the heartbreak that formed him in the childhood reminiscences with just a twist of mouth and the break in a word. Later, his glee at finding out it's not too late to have a change of heart or send a Christmas turkey is palpable and believable.

This is after all a holiday tale, one with a happy ending and a simple message apparent to even a child perhaps especially a child: "Share."
By Laura DeMarco

Bah, humbug! The very name Scrooge has become a part of our lexicon, as in "Don't be a . . ."

We have all seen Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" so many times, we think we know it by heart.

We've seen actors on stage do it, and Alastair Sim do it and George C. Scott do it, and Albert Finney do it, and Bill Murray do it, and Mickey...
more

Thursday, December 14, 2017

"My husband and I thoroughly enjoyed your production of A Christmas Carol!!!"

By Kris (Audience Member)

"I love the story being read by "Mother" on stage right, and hearing Dicken's original words. A unique and special way to stage this timeless play! I especially love the singing of Coventry Carol during the cemetery scene. It was hauntingly beautiful! Brava and bravo to all the cast....they were wonderful!"

Monday, December 04, 2017

"What a wonderful group of talented actors."

By Barbara (Audience Member)

"My grandson and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the play yesterday. It was most enjoyable, from the acting, to the venue. I will definitely attend again."

Friday, December 22, 2017

"A Christmas Carol was nothing less than fabulous!"

By William (Audience Member)

"Most Excellent!"

Monday, November 28, 2016

"...a deep, oxygen-rich breath of winter-fresh air...a gift worth giving and receiving."

By The News Herald

By Bob Abelman

"While 'A Christmas Carol' certainly can seem like a stale old chestnut, this one-hour-and-45-minute production is a deep, oxygen-rich breath of winter-fresh air...awe-inspiring scenic design...gorgeous period costume design ...wonderful theatrical special effects...brilliant individual and ensemble performances...This year's rendition of 'A Christmas Carol' is still a gift worth giving and receiving."

Monday, December 16, 2013

"My two daughters and I ended up spending the entire day together..."

By Amy (audience member)

"[A Christmas Carol] was just fabulous! My two daughters and I ended up spending the entire day together - a rarity with two teenagers. My eldest daughter (16) announced that she cannot wait to come back! You are an inspiration and a wonderful 'memory maker' for our family." There's one week left to create your memory!

Monday, December 16, 2013

"Oh my gosh I have told everyone how great "A Christmas Carol" was!"

By Peggy (an audience member)

Oh my gosh I have told everyone how great "A Christmas Carol" was! Thank you so much for a wonderful evening! I was a lucky member of the Holy Angels choir so I was there with a large group of friends. We enjoyed singing prior to the show and absolutely loved the show. It was frightening, sweet, beautiful, tender and funny! I have always loved the message and the words of Dickens. But your presentation made it all even more special. That sweet little boy was as adorable as the man who played Scrooge was mean! LOVED it!! Oh my gosh I have told everyone how great "A Christmas Carol" was! Thank you so much for a wonderful evening! I was a lucky member of the Holy Angels choir so I was there with a large group of friends. We enjoyed singing prior to the show and absolutely loved the show. It was frightening, sweet, beautiful, tender and funny! I have always loved the message and the words...more

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"...no one did it better than Cleveland..."

By Michael (an audience member)

My wife and I attended the evening production of A Christmas Carol December 14. Entering the playhouse square main building and encountering the festive trees and decor set the evening off on just the right note. To then be surprised by the Chorus singing Carols just took it to the next level of real Christmas Joy. But when we experienced the play, we were stunned by the outstanding costumes and special effects. We have seen the Christmas Carol in a number of different venues and cities and we both agreed, no one did it better than Cleveland. Thank you for helping us experience the spirit of the season. My wife and I attended the evening production of A Christmas Carol December 14. Entering the playhouse square main building and encountering the festive trees and decor set the evening off on just the right note. To then be surprised by the Chorus singing Carols just took it to the next level of real Christmas Joy. But when we experienced the play, we were stunned by the outstanding costumes and...more

Monday, December 16, 2013

"The show was great..."

By Jennifer (an audience member)

The show was great, the ghosts were scary as they should be!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"We will highly recommend this play to our friends!"

By Nancy (audience member)

We attended you production last Friday evening and thought it was wonderful!!!!!! It set the tone for our Christmas season. All actors and actresses were wonderful and the venue is great!!! We will highly recommend this play to our friends! The Avon School choir was also enjoyable. Please pass on our praise to them as well.

Friday, December 07, 2012

"...absolutely fabulous ..."

By Kory (radio, The New 102)

A CHRISTMAS CAROL is absolutely fabulous and will become a holiday tradition for you after your first time experiencing it. Why not start this year?

Monday, December 16, 2013

"We had a fabulous time. Excellent!!"

By Donna (and audiene member)

We had a fabulous time. The play was all that it should be!! Excellent!! The staff...was friendly and very accomadating. We will return, hopefully, soon.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

"The actors, sets, lighting and costumes were outstanding."

By Kathleen McGrath (audience member)

I took my grandchildren (ages 12 and 9) to see Christmas Carol last Sunday afternoon. It was their first play other than live shows for young children and they thoroughly enjoyed it! The actors, sets, lighting and costumes were outstanding. It was a wonderful prelude to the holidays.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"It's pure magic!"

By Vicky (audience email)

AS always, we enjoyed the performance of A Christmas Carol very much. It is my favorite thing to see around Christmas time. I love the Great Lakes Theater presentation! It's pure magic! P.S The staff and ushers were also very friendly and helpful. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"I am, time and time again, in AWE of the sheer fabulousness of the production"

By Laura (audience email)

I am, time and time again, in AWE of the sheer fabulousness of the production of A Christmas Carol. My mom and I see it EVERY year together to celebrate the season, and remind ourselves of what is TRULY important! THANK YOU, from the actors to the score to the set, all top notch! laura

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"...amazing! Thank you. We will be back again soon."

By Ron & Kathy (patron email)

What a wonderful play! The actors and scenery were outstanding, Our congratulations to your entire staff. From the time we entered the beautifully decorated Ohio Theatre to the time the play ended, we really enjoyed ourselves. We brought our daughter and son-in-law who live in Boston to this event with us. It is one we will always remember....amazing! Thank you. We will be back again soon.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"We look forward to this event every year..."

By Todd Maurer (audience member)

"Christmas Carol Staff, I have been going to a Christmas Carol at Great Lakes Theater for the last 17+ years and the experience has been a staple in my family for years. My wife and I have recently added my Daughter to this great event and will soon be including my 3 other children. We look forward to this event every year and it never gets old. Thank you for helping us celebrate Christmas with this Classic production. We are looking forward to many more years to come. Keep up the great work! "Christmas Carol Staff, I have been going to a Christmas Carol at Great Lakes Theater for the last 17+ years and the experience has been a staple in my family for years. My wife and I have recently added my Daughter to this great event and will soon be including my 3 other children. We look forward to this event every year and it never gets old. Thank you for...more

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"A wonderful way to begin the Christmas season."

By Ken (audience email)

Great performance as usual. We have been coming too many years to count. Each year we bring our grandchildren and one or two others. Everyone loves it. A wonderful way to begin the Christmas season.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"I have to say it was a wonderful experience."

By Penny (audience email)

I brought my son to the Ohio Theater last Saturday for the matinee of A Christmas Carol. I have to say it was a wonderful experience. He is nine years old and loved the show. We were fortunate enough to have 2nd row seats so we could see everything up close. He was fascinated with the actor that played Scrooge because all the lines he had to remember. We truly enjoyed our day. Thanks. I brought my son to the Ohio Theater last Saturday for the matinee of A Christmas Carol. I have to say it was a wonderful experience. He is nine years old and loved the show. We were fortunate enough to have 2nd row seats so we could see everything up close. He was fascinated with the actor that played Scrooge because all the lines he had to remember. We truly...more

Monday, December 19, 2011

"This was my first visit...and I can tell you that I will be back each year..."

By Pam (audience member)

"This was my first visit to see 'A Christmas Carol.' I can tell you that I will be back each year and bring family and co-workers. I encountered an unexpected snow storm afterwards and it didn't even bother me because I was so happy when I left. The sound effects and acting were amazing."

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"The acting was great and the scenery was awesome."

By Sherri

I saw A Christmas Carol last Friday and it was excellent! I took my mom and we both had a great time. The acting was great and the scenery was awesome. I would definitely come back next year and invite others to come along. Well-done! The theater itself has a nice atmosphere.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

"...it only gets better as time passes..."

By Jonathan (patron email)

Hello, I just wanted to express my complete satisfaction with this show. I have gone to this with my family for the last twelve years and it only gets better as time passes. Thank you for a such a great time.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"left the theater with a feeling of Christmas in our hearts."

By Judith (audience email)

We thoroughly enjoyed the creativity in the set design and scene transitions, and congratulate all the actors on their excellent work. We laughed, and cried, and left the theater with a feeling of Christmas in our hearts. Thank you!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

"How lucky we are to live in a city where this kind of entertainment is available."

By Jackie Dickie (audience member)

"What a wonderful evening for my family. The production was very well done, and the cast was outstanding. How lucky we are to live in a city where this kind of entertainment is available. The ticket cost was appropriate and not so excessive that families from all economic classes can have this gift during the holidays."

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"...you have won over our hearts..."

By Kelly Dimacchia (audience member)

My 10 yr. old, myself and both of my parents attended the show on Sunday. Every year we see a Holiday Production, generally it is "A Christmas Carol." Unanimously we agreed that this year was the MOST entertaining, had the BEST props and costumes AND left us smiling from ear to ear. That is not to say that we haven't enjoyed the past years productions from other companies, we were just really impressed by the quality of the actors and the costumes. My 10 yr. old son was amazed by all the "smoke" and loved the trap doors in the floor. The ghosts of Christmas were fabulously dressed, entertaining and downright creepy (future :). Kudos to a wonderful production, we will be talking about last night for the rest of the season. We are true fans of Great Lakes Theater, you have won over our hearts. Happy Holidays! My 10 yr. old, myself and both of my parents attended the show on Sunday. Every year we see a Holiday Production, generally it is "A Christmas Carol." Unanimously we agreed that this year was the MOST entertaining, had the BEST props and costumes AND left us smiling from ear to ear. That is not to say that we haven't enjoyed the past years productions from other companies, we were...more

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"...everything was perfect..."

By Cherie Matzek (audience member)

My son and his girlfriend had a wonderful experience. We went last year to a matinee and enjoyed it so much. We thought the actors were great! Staging and theme- everything was perfect!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

My son and his girlfriend had a wonderful experience. We went last year to a matinee and enjoyed it

By Tina Pilcavage (audience member)

The Christmas Carol matinee yesterday was fantastic. The costumes, music and actors were wonderful. The parking was easy to find and exiting was pretty painless as well. Hope to attend another show next Spring. Thank you!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"Thank you for the wonderful family experience yesterday afternoon."

By Colleen Miller (audience member)

Thank you for the wonderful family experience yesterday afternoon. We really enjoyed A Christmas Carol. Thank you for having booster seats so the kids can see the stage! Even my 10-year-old used one.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

"...a very impressive production..."

By Gloria Ferris (audience member)

...attended on Saturday night. The Singers Club caroling before the show was a good start to a very impressive production of "A Christmas Carol". Can't believe it has been so long since we revisited.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

"...simply wonderful..."

By Frances Pollock (audience member)

A Christmas Carol was simply wonderful. Thank you for such a great experience. Great way to kick off the season. Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

"What a fabulous show!"

By Lisa (Audience Member)

"What a fabulous show! I purchased tickets for my Mother-In-Law for her Birthday. We made it a girls night out with her 2 sisters and 2 daughters. It was a great time. The performance was exceptional! What a terrific cast.....truly talented! This was a great way to kick off the holiday with the true spirit of Christmas and sharing time with family. Thank-you!!!!!"

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanks to all at GLT!!!

By Anita (Audience Member)

"I brought my seven-year-old granddaughter to see A Christmas Carol as a Christmas gift experience. She absolutely LOVED it! I did, too! Very warm and friendly atmosphere and performance..."

Tuesday, January 02, 2018

"The performance was really amazing!!!"

By Kelly (Audience Member)

"My family and I saw a Christmas Carol Friday afternoon, WOW, we were so impressed. We moved here a few months ago from NY and never imagined the shows here would be Broadway quality. Well you have surpassed my expectations... Bravo! "

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