A revolutionary, worker-oriented re-imagining of Dickens' classic.
Where: A decrepit, abandoned Occupy Wall Street encampment.
What: A Christmas Carol.
Why: WTF?? ANOTHER CHRISTMAS CAROL ADAPTATION?? FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AREN'T THERE ENOUGH?
Because unlike the other ones, this Carol is not designed to comfort the affluent, making them feel good about being marginally less horrible than Scrooge. Its about the rest of us.
In 1843 Charles Dickens wrote an amazing story that spelled out, in a clear, entertaining way, the inhuman effects of the new system that was sweeping England - Industrial Capitalism. Since then the same wealthy people Dickens indicted for their selfishness and inhumanity have hijacked the story, changing it from a powerful expose of the oppression of the working class to a fun-filled story about a greedy old codger's reclamation - from a story about the impoverished millions oppressed by a system that literally saw them as grist for the mill, to a theatrical cash cow about the One Bad Man who, when he changes, guarantees a Merry Christmas for all. Dickens wrote an activist story about uplifting the People, and it has been mutated by the Rich into a story designed to make the them feel good about themselves.
I think its time to reclaim this story for the rest of us - for the 99% who don't have Scrooge's dough, the 99% who live the lives of the Cratchits.
So I wrote this adaptation: A group of folks, unemployed and ignored by by society, are putting on their version of Christmas Carol. Full of folk and traditional labor songs, telling the facts and history behind the story, I think this Carol is closer to what Dickens intended - a fun but harsh indictment of a system that enriches the few at the expense of the many.
(Here's an article from the L.A. Times about the adaptation.)
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The biggest hurdle I have to overcome with taking this story back is getting people over there assumptions. This ain't yer father's Christmas Carol, and it's going to take some serious publicity to get that through to them. I need time and space to contact activists and do research to make sure I'm being as close to the story as possible while connecting the story with a modern audience. Another goal of mine is getting the show done by activists theaters around the country, but so many of them are afraid their audiences will be put off, thinking their local theater collective is doing the same old Carol.
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- (30 days)