Caitlin Howle, our Digital Marketing Coordinator, recently sat down with this year’s director of A Christmas Carol, Mark Valdez. She asked him a few questions about the upcoming production and what audiences can look forward to.
Caitlin Howle: Curt Columbus, our artistic director, said that you were very excited to be asked to direct A Christmas Carol, can you tell us why that is?
Mark Valdez: I have only seen A Christmas Carol once – and it was twenty years ago! Curt called me and asked me what show I wanted to do, and I said, “A Christmas Carol!” and he was like, “Really?” and I told him that I had never felt ownership of it. This is my chance to be a part of this legacy and tradition in theater and it has meaning for a lot of people. I want to be a part of that.
Caitlin: Is there anything you want the public to know about the production so far?
Mark: One thing is that we’re inviting community choirs to be a part of the show. In addition to the company every night or so there will be a different community choir singing as part of the show. Also, my goal is to make the production really joyous – we want it to be traditional so it’s not set in the future or on another planet or something. I also want it to be very physical, in my mind, it’s going to be Cirque du Soleil meets A Christmas Carol. Overall, it’s important to me that this show matters to a lot of families. It means something. Our aim is to give people a really lovely Christmas present.
Caitlin: What are you most excited about for this production?
Mark: The fun! I think we as a people need to be joyous, we need to laugh. I’m also looking forward to getting to know all the people from across Rhode Island who are going to be a part of this production. This show means something to the state and it’s such a beautiful thing to me.
Caitlin: If you were visited by one of the ghosts in the show, which one would you want it to be?
Mark: Not future! I think it would be Christmas Present, ‘cause he’s fun! He laughs, he’s eating. I just imagine him snacking through the whole thing, and having a beer. Not Past, either, because past is past.
Caitlin: What do you hope that audiences take away from your production?
Mark: I really want people to lift up some hope. It’s so easy to write people off and it’s so tempting sometimes. I want people to know they can invest more into their neighbors. We can all change, just like Scrooge. Regardless of where we stand ideologically or politically if we can just hold on to hope, that’s what matters.