Thomas D. Mahard (Ebenezer Scrooge) This will be my 27th year doing the play “A Christmas Carol” at Meadow Brook Theatre. It is my 4th year playing the lead character, Ebenezer Scrooge. Probably the most frequent question I get (besides “Can you get me tickets?) is “Doesn’t doing the same play over and over again for so many years get boring?
The answer is easy. No. Pay close attention to “A Christmas Carol” and you will notice many things happen in threes. Three spirits, etc. So, here is the explanation of my answer in three.
1. The Story. Both the Dickens novella and its faithful adaptation by Charles Nolte are classics. The story is universal, has a compelling solid plot, memorable characters and a protagonist whose journey and subsequent change is touching and inspiring. Long before audiences were filing into Meadow Brook Theatre, families were sitting down by the fireside to read Dickens’ words aloud as a traditional way to get themselves into the Christmas spirit. The opportunity to share this experience with close to 30,000 audience members per year is extraordinarily rewarding and hard to resist.
2. The Production. In the areas of spectacle and sound, Meadow Brook Theatre’s production is unmatched. The meticulously timed scene changes, the massive revolving set, the evocative sounds and the magical lighting effects convey a stunning image to viewers. I know I sound like some travel brochure right now, but you asked me how I could do this show year after year. The professionalism of the crew and the artistic vision of the design staff create an environment in which I feel, not only free, but encouraged to create as an actor. Oh, and did I mention the costumes? Scrumptious!
3. The People. For three weeks of rehearsals and 51 shows, I get the privilege to work with extraordinary professionals who freely and enthusiastically share their knowledge and love of theatre with any and all that care to pay attention. It’s my home away f rom home, where “people get me!” as my daughter used to say, and most especially a place where dreams come true.
Why do I do it year after year? What , are you kidding me? It’s an honor!!