A Christmas Carol at the IRT

The Indiana Repertory Theatre tradition of A Christmas Carol continues this year with some subtle changes and additions. From 1980-84, then from 1996 to the present day, the IRT has presented Tom Haas’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale of a man finding his heart and soul, and each time finding moral depth in the tale of Scrooge and the Cratchits.
This year’s production plays heavily on Scrooge’s isolation, which leads to his miserable, miserly life. Ryan Artzberger’s Scrooge is self-unaware, locked in a smaller and smaller world that is growing ever-distant from other people. In contrast, his employee Bob Cratchit, played as browbeaten but kind by Jeremy Fisher, lives in a larger, more giving world that in many ways is richer than Scrooge’s. Marley’s appearance (Charles Goad, who also plays Fezziwig in the Ghost of Christmas Past sequence) is a warning and lesson that Scrooge must change or face eternal suffering and damnation. The change isn’t just about opening the wallet, but about opening his eyes and his heart.
A sterling cast that includes Charles Pasternak , Milicent Wright, Emily Ristine, Jennifer Johansen, Scot Greenwell, Mark Goetzinger, Ashley Dillard, and Joey Collins, plus a rotating cast of young local actors are multi-talented, as the script calls for some singing and dancing as well as large amounts of dialogue. Scenic designer Russell Metheny incorporates the original ornate IRT walls as a backdrop to a blazing snowy field, making the stage feel like a bitter cold London street. Costume designer Murell Horton’s costumes are rich in Victorian detail and authentic to the era.
No matter how many times you’ve seen A Christmas Carol, you are surprised and delighted by a new production. It’s a story that never gets old. The IRT will show A Christmas Carol through December 24; call 317-635-5252 for ticket times and prices (as well as availability, as this is a very popular production).