A Fresh Vision for an Alley Tradition
Our new production of A Christmas Carol, adapted by Alley Theatre's own Artistic Director Rob Melrose, has been years in the making. Learn more about Melrose's "magic, music, and Dickens" approach to the latest adaptation:
on Dickens: “We always talk about 'Show me, don’t tell me'…But
when you do that, you lose, I think, one of the greatest things of
the novella, which is that ironic, brilliant, descriptive narrator
voice…that is Dickens’s voice.”
The text of Melrose's script is rooted in the pages of the original
novella, with cast members contributing elements of Dickens's
distinct narration. Look out for scenes and dialogue you
hadn't known were a part of the story!
on music: “What I really wanted it to be is really leaning into the
fun and the magic of Christmas, and for me, it was always hearing
Christmas carols and singing.”
Writer/director Rob Melrose and music director John L. Cornelius II have added 15 classic carols to the show, all of which are accurate to the 1843 setting. Some are songs we still sing today, and others you might've never heard before! Describing his arrangements of the songs, Cornelius said, "They all have a bit of a twist on them…We want every single time to be just as magical as the first time you hear it."
on magic: “On one hand, I wanted this adaptation to be able to work in a living room with a bunch of actors, with no bells and whistles…On the other hand, when you come to A Christmas Carol, you want the bells and whistles; you want the spectacle.”
In addition to the stunning and elaborate work of Alley Theatre's various designers, Jim Steinmeyer has designed illusions for this production. Steinmeyer's work has been featured by magicians like David Copperfield (whose stage name is taken from a Dickens novel). The New York Times called him the "inventor, designer, and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians."