“A Christmas Carol” Film to Benefit Theaters
BAH, HUMBUG: Jefferson Mays plays Ebeneezer Scrooge in a filmed version of “A Christmas Carol,” benefiting George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick and other regional theaters affected by the pandemic. (Photo by Chris Whitaker)
George Street Playhouse and producer Hunter Arnold have announced that a special filmed version of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, starring Tony Award-winner Jefferson Mays, will be released worldwide on Saturday, November 28. This streaming video event will benefit George Street Playhouse as well as other community, amateur, and regional theaters across the country which have been devastated by the pandemic.
Directed by two-time Tony Award nominee Michael Arden, adapted by Mays, Susan Lyons, and Arden, and conceived by Arden and Tony Award nominee Dane Laffrey, the filmed version is based on the 2018 production which made its world premiere at Los Angeles’ Geffen Playhouse.
“George Street Playhouse is thrilled to join producer Hunter Arnold on this nationwide event,” said George Street Playhouse Artistic Director David Saint. “These are extraordinary times and the opportunity to present a virtual version of this acclaimed performance is exactly what we need this holiday season.”
“As not-for-profit theaters continue to produce and present high-quality virtual content, we are honored to participate in this nationwide opportunity to stream one of the holiday’s favorite titles, A Christmas Carol,” said Kelly Ryman, managing director of George Street Playhouse. “Theaters throughout the nation are offering this virtual production which promises to bring cheer to all who see it.”
Mays said, “A Christmas Carol was my first experience of living theater. 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.”
“My theater career began when I was a 10-year-old Texan playing Tiny Tim in the Midland Community Theatre production of A Christmas Carol,” said Arden. “In a time when theaters 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.”
Arnold said, “Due to COVID-19, the country’s theaters have lost over 80 percent of their income, a number that is devastating to our community. These theaters, the work they produce, and the artists and workers they support are a fundamental part of our society. We must fight for their survival.”
George Street Playhouse is a partner through a joint project between Arnold’s TBD Pictures, La Jolla Playhouse, and On The Stage. Other partner theaters currently include Actors’ Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Iowa Stage Theatre Company, La Jolla Playhouse, Sankofa Collective, Shea’s Performing Arts Center, South Coast Repertory, Springfield Contemporary Theatre, Theatre Tallahassee, and Vermont Stage.
Tickets are now available to purchase via GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org.