Ford’s Theatre celebrates 175th year of ‘A Christmas Carol’ with extra cheer

Photo Courtesy of: Scott Suchman for Ford's Theatre

By: Kate Michael

Did you know that this month marks 175 years since Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol?” To commemorate the anniversary, Ford’s Theatre is putting on its annual production with extra holiday cheer this year, and your presence at the show only fills Scrooge’s heart — and a local charity — with more celebrations of the season.

“The timeless message of A Christmas Carol—that every day is an opportunity to begin again, to open your heart and to show compassion—is an inspiration that our fast-paced world seems to need more and more,” said Craig Wallace, reprising his role as Ebeneezer Scrooge for the Ford’s Theatre Company.

Photo Courtesy of: Scott Suchman for Ford’s Theatre

He further said, “With each performance of this 175-year-old play, I am reinvigorated by remembering that there is a chance to provide goodwill in our everyday encounters.”

And the goodwill generated is real. This year, as in the past, the acting company will raise money for a local charity at the show’s curtain calls. Over the past nine years, over $735,800 has been raised to support nonprofits that work to eradicate homelessness, hunger and poverty.

This year, inspired by the themes of charity in Dickens’s holiday classic, the troupe has selected DC’s Homeless Children’s Playtime Project.

The Washington-based nonprofit partners with homeless shelters in the city to create safe and fun play spaces for the children where they live, which the organization said, “helps to restore normalcy by providing opportunities for children to learn and heal through play, and empower children to make choices, express themselves, build friendships and find support.”

The timeless message of the play is one for all to heed.  And the caroling, spooky stage tricks and dancing truly help audiences to bask in the holiday spirit — literally — as ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future take Scrooge on a transformative journey of redemption.

Several returning cast members of the Ford’s production appear in new roles this season including Stephen F. Schmidt as Jacob Marley, Michael Bunce as Clock Vendor, Gregory Maheu as Bob Cratchit and Yesenia Iglesias as Mrs. Cratchit, so returning audiences will experience the story with a new perspective as well as fresh philanthropy.

A Christmas Carol plays Tuesdays through Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (except November 22, December 25 and 30); Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. (except December 1). Weekday noon matinees are November 28, 29, December 5 and 6. Weekday 2 p.m. matinees are November 21, 23, December 12, 13, 19, 20, 27 and 28.  Tickets are $24 -$107.

The Ford’s Theatre is located at 511 10th Street NW, between E and F streets.