Certain holiday productions are so much a part of some families’ lives that they make it a point to head to a certain theater every year. Richard Wilkins takes that dedication just a bit further: He’s so committed to his role as Scrooge in Hale Centre Theatre’s annual production of A Christmas Carol that he heads back to Utah from his current home in Qatar to play the part.
Wilkins—a former BYU professor and Dickens scholar—first adapted the work to the stage and played the lead role 25 years ago. He shares the role now with David Weekes, offering his faithful take on the story of a miser in Victorian England whose encounter with spirits leads to a change of heart. Director John Sweeney takes his seventh turn overseeing the holiday favorite, still using Wilkins’ adaptation and original scoring and carol arrangements by Utah composer Barlow Bradford. Now that’s dedication to some Christmas tradition.