While Charles Dickens’ classic story “A Christmas Carol” is known for popularizing the phrase “Bah, Humbug,” it is also the first popular usage of the term “merry Christmas” in the Victorian public. It is in this spirit that a presentation of the Orson Welles version of “A Christmas Carol” that was broadcast in 1939 will be remade with a bit of Washington flare as part of the annual Showcasing Nights of Washington (SNOW) event.
Organizer Chris Hanson said that as the annual Live Radio Broadcast enters its third year, and with the 175th anniversary of the release of “A Christmas Carol,” It seemed only natural that this be the play performed for the audience waiting for the SNOW parade on Nov. 24. The partnership between Washington Community Theater, KCII, Washington Public Library and Main Street Washington will begin its live performance at 5 p.m.
“I got them all together about three years ago and told them I would like to do a holiday parade on the square,” Hanson remembers. “They said they did not want to do it outside at the end of November. We thought to perform in the window of the library.”
He said in previous year the troupe had to purchase the scripts they would perform. This year the vintage script is free. Hanson said the script has been modified slightly from the script, which will not include Welles’ introductions of the cast in the Nov. 24 performance, to include references to Washington.
“I wanted to make it more personal for Washington,” Hanson said. “we do use some of the same language in the introduction. The script is the script, but we model it on how they spoke in the 40s. It is going to sound like an old time radio show.”
The annual performance had been brining out players who don’t regularly perform in community plays. Hanson said Chad Goings, who plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the radio drama, has only been in one other play before this. He said the performance is a draw to people who enjoy voice acting but may not wish to perform on stage as well as newcomers who wish to give performing a try.
The event is free and open to the public. For the past two years hundreds of people have gathered outside the library window to watch the performances.