Lyric Theatre to present “A Christmas Carol”

Jonathan Beck Reed brings Ebenezer Scrooge to life in Lyric Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol”
BY RICK ROGERS rrogers@opubco.com Published: November 25, 2012
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Reed has earned a well-deserved reputation for bringing characters vividly to life. Scripts vary according to how much detail the author goes into when sketching his characters. But an accomplished actor often finds additional clues in what other characters say about his character.

“I like to start with discovering how Scrooge became the man he is,” Reed said. “He was a young boy who had great potential, he dearly loved his sister but his father resented him because Scrooge's mother died in childbirth. His father eventually sent him off to a boarding school.

“You can deconstruct those experiences as he goes through his life. When the first ghost shows him his past, he becomes emotional about a place where he felt embraced and loved. He also sees how money destroyed his relationship with Belle and regretted not having handled things differently. If you don't know what his life was like before the play starts, nothing in the play can affect him.”

People are drawn to theater for countless reasons, but one of the most compelling byproducts is the ability to recognize ourselves in the characters that we see on stage. By doing so, a strong emotional bond between cast and audience is created.

“I think on some level, we all see ourselves in Scrooge,” Reed suggested. “You don't return that phone call you should or you pass by the Salvation Army guy ringing the bell. We can relate to not being as charitable or as kind as we should be.

“But because we see Scrooge as a person who can be better, we want to be better people ourselves. It's an important story to tell. Christmas is a time of tradition and it inspires us to be our best.”