Trinity Rep is known for creating twists as fresh as mint candy canes to annual productions of A Christmas Carol – bringing in new casts, directors, concepts, and designs – and using that trap door in ways that are sure to delight and startle. For 2020, not even the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come could have predicted this year’s version: online – and hold your bah-humbugs – free of charge. Artistic Director Curt Columbus explains, “Skipping a year of telling this story is not something that we would consider in normal times, and this year, it is simply unthinkable. Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to (virtually) come together, hear stories of hope, and keep treasured traditions alive. Though we would much prefer to be gathered in the theater together in person, we are excited to create this unique opportunity for our community to celebrate the season.”
COVID-19 forced the cancellation of over 100 Trinity Rep performances, classes, and events this spring and summer, but it will not end the theater’s 43-year history of presenting the Charles Dickens tale of a miser transformed one Christmas Eve. “The tradition of producing A Christmas Carol every year for more than four decades and over a million audience members is one in which we take great pride. We love knowing that Trinity Rep is an important part of so many families’ holiday traditions,” says Columbus, who will direct. Company member Joe Wilson, Jr. returns to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge, which he most recently played at Trinity in 2017. Columbus, along with members of the resident acting company and production team, has developed a unique and very Trinity take on the Dickens classic, integrating traditional theatrical storytelling with technological possibilities only available with digital production.
Virtual tickets will be available to all at no charge, but registration will be required. Patrons may sign up online to receive a notification when registration opens. Subscribers who previously purchased tickets for this year’s production will be contacted by the box office to discuss their options. Patrons may elect to donate the price of their tickets to underwrite the free production, apply the price of their tickets to next year’s show, or request a refund.
The Gamm Theatre and The Public’s Radio are teaming up to co-produce It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play which will broadcast on various dates (not yet released at press time). This special production will be performed once again as a 1940s radio play, but recorded for actual broadcast. Put on the fireplace channel and tune in.
Thanks to a $100,000 grant, part of the State’s “Take It Outside” Initiative, Festival Ballet Providence will create a temporary outdoor performing arts venue. The concert space will occupy the entire parking lot of their East Side Facility and feature socially distanced seating, outdoor heaters, and a 32 foot wide elevated concert stage with a roof rising 25 feet off the ground for the rigging of lights and scenic elements. FBP will use the venue to present a reimagining of the beloved holiday classic, The Nutcracker, which has been an annual tradition for more than 40 years.