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Bah, Pandemic! How Theaters Are Saving ‘A Christmas Carol’

Mr. Haj doesn’t anticipate to make money on it. Nor does Leda Hoffmann, creative director of the Contemporary American Theater Company in Columbus, Ohio, which, for $20 per gadget, will stream a contemporary reimagining with Ebony Scrooge at its heart. “This is very likely a losing proposition, but we’re telling the story because we want to tell it,” she stated.

The monetary implications are monumental, particularly for people who have opted to not cost in any respect. Ford’s Theater in Washington final yr bought $2.5 million value of tickets to “A Christmas Carol.” This yr, it’s releasing a free audio model on its web site and on public radio, paid for by company sponsorships and donations. “Hopefully it will come back to us in other ways,” stated Paul R. Tetreault, Ford’s director.

The money “A Christmas Carol” often brings in permits theaters to carry out more difficult work at different instances of the yr.

In Raleigh, N.C., the place Ira David Wood III, the creative and government director of Theater within the Park, has been taking part in Scrooge in a musical adaptation since 1974 (he missed one yr, when he had open-heart surgical procedure), the money earned from the vacation present “enables us to do ‘Uncle Vanya’ and play to maybe 12 people,” he stated.

Like many main regional theaters, Providence’s Trinity Rep is enormously depending on the present, which accounts for half of all annual gross sales. This yr, its one-hour streaming version seems to be nonetheless to be common — within the first 72 hours, 75,000 folks from 46 states signed as much as watch. But ticket income, which final yr topped $1.7 million, will probably be zero, as a result of the video is being aired totally free.

“This thing has kept American theaters alive for decades and decades,” stated Charles Fee, the manufacturing creative director of Great Lakes Theater in Cleveland. “Without ‘Christmas Carol,’ our company would almost certainly have failed.”

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