We have seen them all.
From the early traditional Dickens classic, to Ann Bogart’s dark and dreary interpretation, to the first Black Scrooge and the first female Scrooge, to this year’s most diverse and inclusive production, we have enjoyed the imaginative spins that Trinity Rep gives to its annual gift to Rhode Island.
Under the direction of Brown/Trinity grad Aileen Wen McGroddy, this year’s production follows Trinity’s growing emphasis on diversity and inclusion.
Mrs. Scrooge (Phyllis Kay) is a businesswoman and her partner, Marley (Rachel Warren), is likewise. The ghosts of Past, Present and Future are played by women, as are a majority of the cast.
Scrooge’s clerk Bob Cratchit (Luis Rivera Figueroa) and his family are Hispanic and often speak in Spanish.
Her nephew Fred (Gunnar Manchester) is in a gay marriage.
Asian, Hispanic, White and Black adults and children fill color-blind roles.
Casting is approaching the day in the theatre world when that is the norm.
Traditionalists need not worry. The messages of peace, love, tolerance, humanity and all the good feelings surrounding the Christmas season are still there.
The dialogue has been changed a bit. Scrooge’s attitude toward the burning of coal becomes a political statement, as does his strong feelings toward the poor.
The play opens on a stark, three level, two trap door set, with seven doors and a white-clad chorus surrounding Scrooge.
Scrooge’s journey of self discovery adds color, music and humor as she finally makes amends, and closes with everyone at the table, a wonderful scene that says it all.
There are subtle symbols throughout that the kids may miss. But they will love the turkey that the turkey-girl delivers to the Cratchits.
“A Christmas Carol'' is at Trinity Rep through Jan. 1. Call 351-4242 for reservations or go online to www.trinityrep.com.
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