Generosity in ‘A Christmas Carol’ goes beyond the stage at Ford’s Theatre

The actors in \'A Christmas Carol\' at Ford\'s Theatre have a holiday tradition that stays true to the performance. (Courtesy Ford\'s Theatre)

Heather Brady, special to

WASHINGTON – The company of actors and actresses in “A Christmas Carol” at Ford’s Theatre aren’t just portraying the idea that Christmas is about giving onstage — they’re living it.

For each of the five years the company has produced the show, it has picked a charity focused on ending hunger, homelessness and poverty and raised money to support it.

Originally, the fundraising was only supposed to be a short, one-time event. But Edward Gero, the actor who plays Scrooge, convinced the theater’s director, Paul Tetreault, that it should span the entire length of the production’s run, instead of just a couple of weeks.

“Everyone [was] very excited about actually making a difference in the local community with this play,” Gero says.

“It just seemed to make perfect sense, particularly when we see characters like Tiny Tim’s family, a family of four living on very little money in this story. And at the end of the play, when [Scrooge] finally gets the spirit of Christmas, he understands that it’s about giving.”

The movement was so successful that the company and theater decided to make it an annual holiday tradition. Every year, the theater researches Washington-based charities and presents the company with five or six different possibilities.

Together, the company and the theater have raised over $300,000 for past charities, which include So Others Might Eat, Bread for the City, Martha’s Table and Miriam’s Kitchen.

“We try to pick an organization that will really feel the benefit of the contribution that we make,” Gero says. “This year, we’re doing Covenant House [Washington] because it targets services for the young and teenage homeless

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