Emily Mann on A Christmas Carol

  Emily Mann

Since my first year as Artistic Director in 1990, A Christmas Carol—Dickens’ definitive tale of redemption and generosity—has been an integral part of every McCarter season. Over the years, we have shared this story with thousands of people, periodically introducing new productions of this classic tale and, in doing so, breathing new life into the familiar story of Scrooge and Tiny Tim. This season, I am thrilled to invite you to experience the story anew with our reimagined production, featuring the same enchanting adaptation by David Thompson and directed by the terrific Adam Immerwahr (The Understudy and The Mousetrap).

This new production will showcase the work of some of America's finest designers. Led by Adam, the design team returned to Dickens’ original novella for inspiration and created a visceral, magical world that captures the essence of Victorian England while still containing plenty of surprises. As a director, Adam has a rare combination of imagination and precision that suits this ambitious and enchanting production perfectly. He also has a long history at McCarter—where he began as an intern over ten years ago—and in this community. I can’t think of a better artistic leader for this new production and I am thrilled to have Adam back in Princeton for the occasion.

I’ve always felt that, at its core, A Christmas Carol is a moving reminder of what it means to open our hearts and help each other; how giving back to a community can be one of the most rewarding and responsible actions a person can undertake. With this in mind, it brings me great joy that our new production features members of our own community, celebrating local talent and truly reflecting the world we live in, day to day. This community ensemble will rehearse and perform alongside a cast of professional actors, infusing each performance with their energy and dedication.

It’s a challenging time for us as a country and a larger global society—our sense of community has been tested by a number of recent tragedies. It is tempting in such trying times to withdraw, isolate ourselves, and focus inwards. I would argue that now, more than ever, we need to fight this impulse and instead open ourselves and make meaningful connections. I can’t think of a better place than the theater or a better time of year to embrace this—to grow in empathy, and to express our gratitude.

Wishing you a joyous and restorative holiday season, I can’t wait to share this new production with you. 

Emily Mann

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