‘Christmas Carol’ Opens Saturday At Ford’s Theatre

Posted November 19, 2003 at 2:45pm

Directing Ford’s Theatre production of “A Christmas Carol” for the fifth consecutive year, Tim Gregory finds the play a ghost of his own Christmas past.

“I’m neck deep in Christmas cheer,” Gregory said.

The Charles Dickens classic of a miserly Christmas-hater will open Saturday with a brand new set and costumes to match. The set is so new, in fact, that Gregory hasn’t even seen it yet.

“It’s been a challenge not knowing exactly what the set looks like,” said the director, who has been using renderings and graphs as points of reference during rehearsal.

Gregory said the impending set will breathe new life into the traditional play that has become a holiday ritual to so many theater-goers. With a stage and costumes set for a Victorian period, he hopes audience members will find new entertainment in the traditional play.

“We’ve taken the era with which the theater was built and continued its history with the set,” said Gregory, who played Young Scrooge for Ford’s 1992 production.

Performing as Ebenezer Scrooge for the fourth consecutive year, actor Steven Crossley is also looking forward to donning new costumes. Crossley was the Ford’s original Scrooge, playing the lead part for three seasons beginning in the late 1980s. After an 11-year hiatus, he returned in 2000 and has spent every Christmas since in Washington.

“It’s nice to have a new set to move around on,” Crossley said, adding that a few quirks remain to be solved. “I’m just concerned with my very quick costume changes.”

Ford’s Theatre has made the play part of its Christmas tradition since 1987, when the production first graced the stage. In addition to 10 performances a week until the final show on Dec. 31, the theater will also host a series of workshops for students and teachers to get a behind-the-scenes glance at the making of the play.

Tickets for the show are available at the Ford’s Theatre box office, (202) 347-4833 or at www.tickets.com. To attend a workshop, call (202) 638-2367.