A filmed version of Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol, starring Tony winner Jefferson Mays, streams worldwide beginning November 28 to benefit partner theatres around the country that have been affected by the ongoing pandemic. Watch a teaser above.
Two-time Tony nominee Michael Arden (Spring Awakening, Once On This Island) directs, having co-adapted Dickens' work with Mays and Susan Lyons and conceived the piece with Tony nominee Dane Laffrey. The production was filmed at New York's United Palace and is based on the 2018 world premiere at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse.
Mays plays over 50 roles in the production, which features scenic and costume design by Laffrey, lighting design by Ben Stanton, projection design by Lucy Mackinnon, sound design by Joshua D. Reid, hair and makeup design by Cookie Jordan, puppet design by James Ortiz, and assistant direction by Nikki M. James. Maceo Bishop is the director of photography.
In a previous statement, Mays said, “A Christmas Carol was my first experience of living theatre. My mother and father would read it out loud every year. My father would tell the story with clarity and humanity, while my mother, eyes ablaze, would transform into the characters, from the tortured Jacob Marley, to little Fan and the entire Cratchit family. Both, in their ways, created magic. And now here we are, aspiring to bring this magic to people across the country during this challenging time.”
Arden added, “My theatre career began when I was a 10-year-old Texan playing Tiny Tim in the Midland Community Theatre production of A Christmas Carol. In a time when theatres and arts workers across the country are in great need, bringing a story that celebrates the power of creativity, community, and our shared humanity is humbling.”
The partner theatre program is a joint project between producer Hunter Arnold's TBD Pictures, La Jolla Playhouse, and On The Stage. Other partner theatres include La Jolla Playhouse, Actors' Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, George Street Playhouse, Iowa Stage Theatre Company, Sankofa Collective, South Coast Repertory, Shea's Performing Arts Center, Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Theatre Tallahassee, and Vermont Stage.
Tickets purchased via AChristmasCarolLive.com will automatically benefit local community theatres based on ZIP code. Proceeds from tickets purchased outside of the U.S. or non-affiliated ZIP will be divided and shared with the partner theatres.
A Christmas Carol is produced by Arnold with George Bamber, Kayla Greenspan, Carl Daikeler, Roberto Quiroz Mata, and Tom Kirdahy serving as executive producers.
Production Photos: A Christmas Carol at Geffen Playhouse
(Updated November 28, 2020)