A Christmas Carol

Study Guide and Program Notes

Study Guide
PDF: Study Guide
Get insights into Nineteenth-century London and SCR's production of ​​A Christmas Carol.
ACC Title Page
PDF: Program
Learn more about the 41st Season production, cast & creative team.
ACC Articles
PDF: A Christmas Carol Program Stories
Articles from A Christmas Carol past programs.


Fixing Shoes
Inside the Costume Shop for A Christmas Carol

​Everything that comes with creating, maintaining and fitting costumes for A Christmas Carol starts in the SCR Costume Shop with Costume Supervisor Amy Hutto.

Richard Doyle as Scrooge and Michael Manuel as Marley in A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind the Photo-A Christmas Carol 

Actor Michael Manuel stepped into the role of Jacob Marley’s Ghost for the first time this year and fills us in on this moment in the play.

A Christmas Carol
Stage Designing 101—Starring Tom Buderwitz

The task facing Scenic Designer Tom Buderwitz when he took over scenic design for A Christmas Carol in 2002 was challenging and counterintuitive.

Hisa Takakuwa
Director Hisa Takakuwa Discusses A Christmas Carol

When it comes to A Christmas Carol, Hisa Takakuwa defines knowledge. Learn why in this interview.

Jennifer Parsons as the Spirt of Christmas Present
Bringing the Spirits of A Christmas Carol to Life

Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by four spirits who aim to change his ways and save him from a lonely, haunted end. Learn more about them.

Richard Soto in A Christmas Carol
What Goes Into Playing The Spirit of Christmas Present In A Christmas Carol?

The last time Richard Soto appeared in SCR’s A Christmas Carol was 2004. And it took a medical emergency to get him in the cast.

Don Took and Hal Landon in A Christmas Carol
SCR Founding Artist Don Took Reflects on A Christmas Carol
SCR Founding Artist Don Took played Jacob Marley’s Ghost in A Christmas Carol for 26 years. We asked him to share some of his favorite memories.
A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind the Photo: A Christmas Carol (Scrooge)
Hal Landon Jr., who portrayed miser-turned-good-man of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, selected ​a photo and tells us why​ it's an important moment from the play.
Patch, Doyle, Landon, Keller and Koustik
Jerry Patch: On the Beach, a Victorian Christmas and Sunshine
Learn more about how the adaption of A Christmas Carol came ​to life.
Fred and Sally in A Christmas Carol
The Story Behind the Photo: A Christmas Carol (Sally & Fred)
Actors Melody Butiu and Sol Castillo are ​SCR veterans. In 2018, they stepped into the theatre’s longest-running production, A Christmas Carol. Find out why this photo is important to them.
Hal and Kate Landon
My Dad is Ebenezer Scrooge
Kate (Landon) Coogan grew up while her dad portrayed Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. ​She shares her memories of growing up as a ‘kid of Scrooge.’
Tom and Donna Ruzika
Forty Years in Lights: Meet Tom & Donna Ruzika
In 2019, Donna and Tom Ruzika marked 40 years of creating the light​s for A Christmas Carol. In this Q&A, they talked about what drew each of them to lighting design, to SCR and all about A Christmas Carol.
Art Koustik, Richard Doyle and the cast of A Christmas Carol
Meet Longtime Christmas Carol Actors Art Koustik and Richard Doyle
Actors Art Koustik and Richard Doyle portray some beloved characters in A Christmas Carol. ​Learn more about their combined 75 “years” in Orange County’s favorite holiday show.
JD Keller and Martha McFarland
A Conversation with John-David Keller, Longtime Director of A Christmas Carol
Keller stepped down from directing after being at the helm for 40 years. We caught up with ​him to find out what he will miss the most.
Hal Landon and Presley Coogan in A Christmas Carol
Family Affair: A Grandfather and Granddaughter Share the Stage
Learn more about veteran actor Hal Landon, Jr. and his granddaughter, Presley Coogan.
Howard Shangraw and Hal Landon Jr.
By the Numbers: A Christmas Carol at 40
In 2019, A Christmas Carol marked its 40th year, Orange County’s favorite (and longest-running) holiday show has delighted nearly 575,000 audience members. Here are some other fun facts.
The Cratchits at the table
Eat, Drink and Be Merry—Holiday Food For Thought
Charles Dickens celebrated Victorian cuisine in his writing including in the pages of A Christmas Carol. Get the lowdown on everything from kidney pie to punch to trifle.
Christine and Rachel Stossel
From Audience Member to Acting Student
A first-time experience at A Christmas Carol inspir​ed a teen to take acting classes at SCR. Meet Rachel Stossel and her mom.
The spirits in A Christmas Carol
Ghostly Encounters and a Life Transformed
Boo-humbug! Meet the four spirits who haunt Scrooge in A Christmas Carol.
Hal Landon Jr. in 1980
From Humbug to Hope: Anybody Can Change
Hal Landon Jr. played Ebenezer Scrooge for 40 years at SCR. He shares his thoughts on portraying the iconic role.
The Spirits of A Christmas Carol
Bringing the Spirits of Christmas to Life
The ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge’s partner, Jacob Marley, sets off a spooky and transforming series of nighttime visits for the miser of A Christmas Carol. Find out who’s haunting Scrooge.
Kids Audition for A Christmas Carol
Kids Learn the Audition Process for Roles in A Christmas Carol
SCR’s production of A Christmas Carol offers eight roles for children that are double cast, so 16 lucky kids have an opportunity to perform in this beloved holiday classic. ​
Tales of the Season
Tales of the Season–Favorite Holiday Films & TV Specials
Read on to learn more about some of our favorite holiday movies and TV specials!
Was Ever a Scarf so Red
"Was Ever A Scarf So Red?"
A 12-foot-long red scarf marks a transformative moment for Scrooge in A Christmas Carol. Find out what it means.
John Gaddis
Behind-the-Scenes: A Fascination for Detail Work
Assistant Technical Director John Gaddis IV keeps all the pieces in motion as the scenery comes together for plays. Learn more about him.
Scenic World of A Christmas Carol
Inside the Scenic World of A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol has had a few changes in the last decade. Find out more about the scenic design and how it got a little update.
Reflections on the Season
Politicians, Poets, Playwrights, Pundits: Other Voices at Christmas
​The winter season may be a time of reflection—closing one chapter and starting a new one. We’ve gathered a collection of thoughts from a variety of artists, politicians and others.


A Christmas Carol
A Christmas Carol Teaser

Get a quick glimpse into the world of A Christmas Carol in this video.

Christmas Carol Cast
Song and Dance from A Christmas Carol
Get into the holiday spirit with clips from A Christmas Carol.
Hal Landon Jr.
A Christmas Carol: The Hat Trick
Hal Landon Jr. performs his famous hat trick.
Human Powered
The Human Power Behind A Christmas Carol
​All of the scene changes in A Christmas Carol ​have been powered by humans backstage. Take a peek!
The Cratchits
Christmas with the Cratchits
The Cratchits celebrate Christmas​, from South Coast Repertory's 30th Anniversary production of A Christmas Carol.
Making Wassail
How to Make Wassail
“Wassail” is a traditional hot drink served to carolers. A song celebrating wassail is a feature of SCR’s production of A Christmas Carol. SCR staffer Nicholas Pilapil teaches you how to make the drink.
ACC Logo
A Christmas Carol: Scenes from the Past 35 Years
Gorgeous sets, beautiful costumes and a cast that includes more than a dozen local school children each year. This slideshow features scenes from the past 35 years.
ACC 2014
A Christmas Carol Begins
From the 35th anniversary year of A Christmas Carol, hear music, see the cast celebrating behind the scenes and more!
Tasting Wassail
SCR Audiences Taste Wassail
SCR’s production of A Christmas Carol opens with a song about the traditional wassail drink that carolers are served. But what is “wassail”? SCR made a batch and set up a taste-test for playgoers.
Bah Humbug
Bah Humbug!
A scene from South Coast Repertory's A Christmas Carol featuring Hal Landon Jr. as Ebenezer Scrooge, Daniel Blinkoff as Bob Cratchit and William Francis McGuire as Fred.
Marleys Warning
Marley's Warning
Jacob Marley (Tom Shelton) warns Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) about visiting spirits​.


Hal Landon Jr.
​PODCAST: Hal Landon Jr. Talks A Christmas Carol
On his 40th and final year with the iconic Orange County production, Landon talk​ed red scarves, somersaults and lessons learned from Ebenezer Scrooge.



The Solicitors (​Richard Doyle and Kimberly Scott) surround Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.


Oliver Shelley (Dane Bergman), Elizabeth Shelley (Monika Peña), Thomas Shelley (Nick Slimmer) get good news from Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.


Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.), watches himself as a young man (Alex Knox) woo Belle ​(Eri​ka Schindele) in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.


Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) bring gifts for the Cratchit Family, Peter (Nicholas Brown), Bob (Daniel Blinkoff), Tiny Tim (Presley Coogan), Belinda (Lauren Lee), Martha (Olivia Drury) and Mrs. Cratchit (Jennifer Parsons) in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.


The Spirit of Christmas Past (Richard Doyle), shows Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) a party at Mr. Fezziwig (William Francis McGuire) and Mrs. Fezziwig's (Kimberly Scott) store in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.


Ebenezer Scrooge (Hal Landon Jr.) and Tiny Tim (Presley Coogan) toast with the cast  in A Christmas Carol (2018). Photo by ​Jordan Kubat.

Photo: James MacEwan, Hal Landon Jr., Timothy Landfield, Richard Doyle and Gregg Daniel in A Christmas Carol (2013) Photo by Jim Cox.