Trinity Rep Celebrates 40th Anniversary of A Christmas Carol

PROVIDENCE, RI: Trinity Repertory Company is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its holiday production, A Christmas Carol, this year. Noted for being a new production each year, the 2017 production will be set in Dickensian-esque London by co-directors Angela Brazil and Stephen Thorne with beloved Resident Acting Company member Joe Wilson, Jr. playing the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. The production will also feature 18 community non-profit organizations on stage during the performances. A Christmas Carol runs November 9 through December 31, with press opening on November 14 at 7:30 pm. Among the ten most-attended productions of A Christmas Carol in America each year, Trinity Rep’s production has become a southern New England tradition, serving over 1.5 million people since its inception. Ticket sales have been out-pacing last year’s record-setting sales since going on sale in July. More show details are online at TrinityRep.com/Carol.

Joe Wilson, Jr. has been involved in eight productions of the show since joining Trinity Rep in 2005. In fact, it was the first production he performed in as a member of the Resident Acting Company. The 2005 production was particularly meaningful to him. As a native of New Orleans, which had just been ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, Wilson was concerned for his family in Louisiana, but encouraged by the outpouring of support shown by the people of Providence. According to Wilson, “That production of A Christmas Carol reminded me of all that I should be grateful for, and gave me the strength and resolve to pick myself up, to move forward, to do more….to be better.” He is dedicating his performance as Ebenezer Scrooge to the people of Providence in honor of that support.

He adds, “Like any great story handed down from generation to generation, we re-tell these iconic tales to remind us of common, shared humanity. These moments in the theater give us a chance to see that which is good and possible in all of us. A Christmas Carol is a story that we need during the holidays. This time of year can be such a complicated experience for so many people. While joyous, some feel lonely, many feel disenfranchised, and some are so wounded by the world that they choose to withdraw from the world around them. This story teaches us that in the midst of darkness, hope can be discovered and renewed. The stories that we tell become internal sources of inspiration. A Christmas Carol is one of those stories.”

Community Groups
With the idea of community being at the heart of this year’s production, Trinity Rep has invited 18 different community groups to perform alongside the cast. Each group will appear in three performances throughout the course of the run of the show. The following community groups will be performing: The Boys and Girls Club of Pawtucket, The Boys and Girls Club of Woonsocket, Dance for the Aging Population, Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island, Festival Ballet Providence, Girls Rock! Rhode Island, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rhode Island, The Manton Avenue Project, Partnership for Providence Parks, Progreso Latino, Inc., Rhode Island Latino Arts (RILA), Seven Hills RI, Sisters Overcoming Abusive Relationships (SOAR), Tenderloin Opera Company, Tomaquag Museum, Providence Veteran’s Administration, YouthBuild Preparatory Academy, and Youth Pride RI.

Long-Standing Tradition
Founding Artistic Director Adrian Hall first added A Christmas Carol to Trinity Rep’s lineup in 1977, just four years after moving into the company’s current home at the Lederer Theater Center on Washington St. Since then the production has been a holiday staple for generations of families in Southern New England. Trinity Rep’s production is set apart from other holiday productions by the fact that it is re-imagined every year by a new director, cast, and set of designers.

Cast and Creative Team
Co-directors Angela Brazil and Stephen Thorne, both longtime members of Trinity Rep’s Resident Acting Company will be working alongside Michael Rice (music director), yon Tande (choreographer), and Jordan Butterfield (assistant director). They are joined on the creative team by Michael McGarty (set design), Toni Spadafora (costume design), Dawn Chiang (lighting design), and Peter Sasha Hurowitz (sound design.) In addition to Joe Wilson, Jr., Resident Acting Company members Janice Duclos, Rebecca Gibel, Anne Scurria, and Rachael Warren will take on various roles in the production. They will be joined by third-year students in the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Acting program, local performers, and a children’s cast comprised of 12 young local actors.

Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years. Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for 40 years and made memories for over a million audience members.

Subscriptions for the 2017-18 season are now on sale. The season includes Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau, Into the Breeches! by George Brant, Othello by William Shakespeare, Native Gardens by Karen Zacarías, and Ragtime by Terrence McNally, music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, based on the novel by E.L. Doctorow. For more information and to purchase tickets, call the box office at (401) 351-4242 or visit Trinity Rep's website at www.TrinityRep.com.