The Meaning of “A Christmas Carol”

Hear firsthand from cast members, Goodman staff and production supporters about their favorite A Christmas Carol memories and what they’re looking forward to about this year’s audio play.

“When my husband and I were dating, we started attending A Christmas Carol. We are certain that [our daughters] will come to appreciate the production as we do—something that reminds us that deep kindness and love always wins.”

Cara Pan, Goodman Trustee from Bank of America, Major Corporate Sponsor of A Christmas Carol

“The Goodman’s production of A Christmas Carol was the first show I booked when I moved to Chicago from Los Angeles in 2005. It was immediately like joining a big fun family. I’m happy that Goodman is offering this production free of charge. In this time of strife, depletion and worry, the Goodman’s ‘gift’ may be just what our community needs.”

Allen Gilmore, A Christmas Carol cast member (Abe/Ortle/Schoolmaster/Poulterer)

“The story is the most important thing to me. The possibility of transformation—of seeing something in ourselves and making a change that will give us a joy we didn’t even know we were missing—is a miracle of deeper self-awareness that moves me to tears every year. Since my son was born and the Goodman instituted sensory friendly performances, I’ve started bringing him to the theatre to experience it.”

Adam Belcuore, Goodman Theatre Managing Producer

“I have watched A Christmas Carol almost every single year for the last 15 years since I became a Board member. So many memories during that time are tied to A Christmas Carol that I can almost punctuate periods of my life with it. The first time I saw it, the scene where Marley appears to Scrooge was especially frightening. I literally jumped out of my seat and yelped—I am not the yelping type!”

Maria E. Wynne, Goodman Theatre Trustee and Cratchit Family Dinner Sponsor

“I have been a dresser on A Christmas Carol since 2012. Sometimes the musicians will take their instruments to the upper lobby after the last show on a Sunday and play for a while. By the time the wardrobe crew gets up there, it’s usually just cast and crew left. It is a cozy and relaxing way to end the week and generous of the Goodman to offer the space for a couple hours so that we might enjoy each other’s company outside of working hours. It is a tradition I will especially miss this year.”

Colleen Hagerty, Goodman Theatre Wardrobe Staff

“My favorite memory is being the first girl cast as Tiny Tim at Goodman Theatre. The first season I was nervous performing in front of such a large audience, but I’ll always remember at the very end of the show when Larry Yando [Scrooge] and I look like we are whispering to each other when everyone is celebrating, he was actually saying, “this is your moment and you’re going to do great out there,” before I say, “God bless us, every one.” He really made me feel confident before my line.”

Paris Strickland, A Christmas Carol cast member (Emily Cratchit/Child #3/Newspaper Girl) and former Tiny Tim

“In addition to the special performances we have enjoyed as Tiny Tim sponsors, we treasure the memory of being able to introduce our daughters and their children to the outstanding production and a behind-the-scenes tour. We are anxiously awaiting the audio version of A Christmas Carol this year. We have the utmost confidence in the Goodman to find a way to retell the familiar story in a new way. Bless you all for your dedication to preserving live theatre during these unusual times.”

Linda and Jackson Oshita, Premiere Society Members and Friends of Tiny Tim Sponsors

“I have been a stage manager for A Christmas Carol for 30 years. I started as an intern, then an assistant and moved up to Production Stage Manager. I remember calling the lighting, set and sound cues for the first time from backstage at the Old Goodman Theater—it was exciting and terrifying at the same time, but with the cast and crew supporting me, it was a great experience. This show is a reminder that we need to remember and support those less fortunate and to be of service to our neighbors, friends and family. It’s something to strive for all year long.”

Alden Vasquez, Production Stage Manager

“The best way to shake up a wintertime workday at the Goodman? Sneak down to the lobby during school matinees and hear 800 elementary schoolers scream when Marley’s ghost appears. I’m looking forward to how many new audience members will get to experience this classic story, made available for free to the public both for streaming and on the radio.”

Sam Mauceri, Goodman Theatre School Matinee Series Coordinator

“The Goodman production of A Christmas Carol was the first professional theatre performance our children attended, setting their expectations high at a young age. Every year for the past 28 years, we have attended ACC and then we all go to dinner and discuss the merits of changes from the previous year…some heated conversations have ensued. This year, [my husband] and I will not be able to be with all our children due to COVID, but we plan to listen to it together.”

Cynthia Scholl, Goodman Theatre Trustee and Friends of Tiny Tim Sponsor

“A Christmas Carol was actually my very first Goodman production. I could not believe that I was going to be working at a place that could actually make people fly! The story is about a man who learns to care and love not just the people around him, but also himself. At a time where things feel really chaotic, I find it particularly comforting to know that A Christmas Carol will still happen every season.”

Victoria Rodriguez, Goodman Theatre Manager of Individual and Major Gifts