I was seventeen years old when I had the pleasure of seeing my older brother step onto the McCain stage in a musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol.
With a dreadfully avaricious protagonist and an omnipresence of memento mori portrayed through the story’s visiting ghosts and terminally ill child, A Christmas Carol is often viewed as brilliant but dour literary work. Though I was expecting the production to resemble the many dark and gritty retellings of the Charles Dickens novella, I was pleasantly surprised to see the auditorium burst with elegant costumes, Disney-like musical numbers, and an overall sense of wonder.
Four years later, I was given the opportunity to revisit the charming musical.
Promoted from patron to performer, I was cast as Jacob Marley, the ill-fated miser whose spirit thrusts Ebenezer Scrooge down a rabbit hole of Christmas escapades as delightful as they are horrifying.
If embracing the character’s ghastly physicality was not enough of a challenge, I had to learn how to cooperate with my two left feet. Surrounded by outrageous talent, I knew I needed to overcome my dancing and singing insecurities and deliver an unforgettable performance.
Though every night was met with nervousness and exhaustion, the sense of pride and contagious joy made every second of my theatrical experience entirely worthwhile.
The original work has its gritty moments — Dickens uses his ghosts to highlight social injustice — but these exist in order to make the joyful moments even more satisfying. As Scrooge will always remember his overnight excursion of personal transformation, I will never forget my six weeks of growth, relationship building, and a marvelous early Christmas present.
— Skyler Lindquist (BA ’21, with a minor in Theatre)