Holiday tradition of ‘A Christmas Carol’ returns to Ford’s Theatre in time for Christmas season

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'A Christmas Carol' at Ford's Theatre (Part 1)

An annual holiday tradition returns to the nation’s capital just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas if you have family in town.

Actor Craig Wallace returns for his seventh time as Ebenezer Scrooge in Ford’s Theatre’s annual production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” running now through Dec. 31.

“Even since the pandemic, people are coming to see this show — this is the show they have to see, they have to bring their families to see, they have to bring their kids to see,” Wallace told WTOP. “People have come up to me on the street saying, ‘Are you doing it? Because we wanna see it.’ It’s a reason to return to this show year after year after year.”

Based on the 1843 novella, the play follows London miser Ebenezer Scrooge, who’s visited by the ghost of his late business partner Jacob Marley, the Ghost of Christmas Past, Ghost of Christmas Present and Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, transforming him from a greedy curmudgeon to a generous soul helping Bob Cratchit and Tiny Tim.

“Scrooge says in the beginning of the play that he wants to be left alone and that he’s not concerned with the problems and perils of other people,” Wallace said. “One of the ghosts says, ‘If you don’t change your ways, you’re gonna be sorry.’ Over the course of the evening, the Ghosts of Past, Present and Future show him elements of his life and he’s faced with a decision he has to make at the end of that journey. … It’s a great story of redemption.”

Stephen Schmidt returns as Jacob Marley; Justine “Icy” Moral is back as the Ghost of Christmas Past; Kimberly Gilbert is the Ghost of Christmas Present, and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come is created by theater magic directed by Michael Baron. Each ghost also has a real-world counterpart like the farmhands in “The Wizard of Oz.”

“What I rediscovered working on this amazing text — because it’s been in my brain since I was a child, so I know it, but — I never really thought about how it teaches the audience the power of the ripple effect. That even something so small toward benevolence or goodness or selflessness, even in the smallest ways asking someone to go have a hot supper with you, giving someone a smile on the street can create a ripple effect of good,” Gilbert told WTOP.

As always, the cast will accept charitable donations after the show, this year for Hope and a Home.

“They support low-income families with children through a strategy that combines affordable housing, education and family support services to ensure success for the entire family,” Wallace said. “I think the idea of compassion and giving and charity and hope coincides with the holiday season, which is about giving and celebration.”

Listen to our full conversation here.

Find ticket information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'A Christmas Carol' at Ford's Theatre (Part 1)
Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

Federal News Network Logo
Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up