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From the Director

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From the Director

Welcome to our reader’s theatre production of “A Christmas Carol”. Set in Victorian England, it is a story about you and me, our families, our neighbors and, as Scrooge’s nephew Fred says of our fellow humans: “fellow passengers on the way to the grave.” On our side of the Atlantic, the Sioux Wise Man, Black Elk renders this more gently, as: “fellow travelers on the good road to the day of quiet.”

In rehearsing, reading Dickens’ original short story, and in dissecting the luxuriant text, we were compelled to carefully consider the meaning of “the Spirit of Christmas”, and what it means to us in this season, and in this year. At its foundation, we found one word, “gift”. Legally speaking (I’m a lawyer) a gift is a transfer without payment, without expectation of anything in return; something granted freely, voluntarily and irrevocably, without “strings”.

Apart from the legal meaning, when viewed through a spiritual lens, a gift need not be a tangible item. For there is a gift that has infinite value, cannot be bought, and actually costs nothing; a gift that everyone can give. This is the gift that Scrooge was given, though he had to do a little work in accepting it: forgiveness. He received a second chance; he was given an opportunity to be different, and to make a difference.

Scrooge (whose very name has become synonymous with a coldhearted and cringing miser), received the gift of forgiveness, and experienced such overwhelming joy and gratitude for it, that he was irresistibly impelled to freely and generously pass it on, permanently vowing to keep the Spirit of Christmas throughout the year. Truly that is a worthy goal for us all.

Thank you for joining us. I’ll end with an exercise that we often begin a rehearsal with. It’s about actively receiving, and actively giving:

I am given from the earth all that I need,
And I bring it in to myself;
I am given from the sky all that I need
And I bring it in to myself;
And when I have it all inside me…