Massachusetts Theater Reimagines 'A Christmas Carol' During COVID-19 Pandemic

Zoe Berlin/The Hanover Theatre
Zoe Berlin/The Hanover Theatre

A Massachusetts theater troupe is finding creative ways to let the show go on amid the coronavirus pandemic. The troupe is keeping with their tradition of performing Charles Dickens’ classic Christmas story, but instead of an elaborate set and live audience, they found an alternative with an improvised rendition of the play.

The Hanover Theatre Repertory’s “A Christmas Carol Reimagined” will now take place in the Brickbox Theater, a much smaller venue in Worchester, Massachusetts, and was prerecorded instead.

In the new play, a small group of actors sneak into the venue, find playbills that had been thrown out from a canceled production of “A Christmas Carol,” and then they retell the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his Christmas transformation using the small amount of props they have.

“Given the fact that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, given the fact that it has laid bare so much inequity in our society and given the fact that it’s a dark time right now, I think telling this story in this ultra simple, ultra stripped down aesthetic, is really meaningful and is what we must do this year with it,” the managing director for the BrickBox Theater, Olivia D’Ambrosio Scanlon, told

The cast for the alternative play only includes six adults and two children. The original play has dozens of actors.

The taping, which has already been made, will be available beginning Dec. 11.  Live screenings of the recorded play will be showing at Brickbox Theater from Dec. 15 to 23.

“The tradition is certainly important, but in reimagining, we’re not just doing a smaller version of it than what we do on the main stage,” Scanlon said. “We’re doing a version of it that speaks to this moment in time in every way.”


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