With a ten day countdown until Christmas, the holiday season is in full swing! This weekend, the Maryland Ensemble Theatre’s Fun Company will present A Christmas Carol on our stage for a 3-day marathon of cheer. To prepare for the performance, we turned to MET cofounder Gené Fouché for insight on this beloved Christmas tradition.
Can you tell the readers a bit about who you are and what your role in the performance is?
I’m cofounder of the MET and associate art director, and have played the Ghost of Christmas Past for about 15 years now.
Wow, 15 years! Thanks to the MET, A Christmas Carol has been premiering at the Weinberg for over 20 years now. What’s the history of how this production came to be?
It all started with community-based shows that Julie Herber was striving for with the Fun Company. Way back when, there was a need for family theater and the community truly came together to make that happen. A Christmas Carol was one of those performances that took off and became a mainstay that we look forward to every year! And it’s great, because you find something different being a part of the performance every year.
For many people, it seems to be a tradition to come see A Christmas Carol. Why do you think the performance resonates with so many people?
The story itself. It really is a story of redemption, and the holidays are a time for that. There have been so many recurring patrons who make a point to come up to us at the end of the performance and say, “It’s not Christmas without A Christmas Carol.”
Why do you believe it’s important to show the performance at the Weinberg?
What’s different about the Weinberg is that I think there’s a focus on the entire experience more than any other place. The theater’s an icon.
What’s something about the performance that most people don’t know?
Several years ago, I participated in the Kris Kringle Parade with my husband and MET cofounder Tad. Tad and I were both dressed in character for the parade, and in order to watch over our daughter Lena, we included her with us! Although we didn’t dress her up as a particular character, as we made our way through the parade, several spectators approached Lena and asked who she was dressed up as. Before we could jump in, Lena proudly stated, “Ella Rose Crachit!”
Despite there not being a character in A Christmas Carol named Ella Rose Crachit, we were so impressed with Lena’s young imagination to create a character on the fly. The following year, we included Ella Rose as a main character in the production. She’s been a unique MET Christmas Carol character ever since!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m just so excited for the performances! You know, there have been so many productions of A Christmas Carol out there, and with many you’ll hear, “Oh man, one more year of A Christmas Carol again.” With the MET, it really is more than just a show. It’s been incredible to see how our company members who are a part of the production year after year genuinely look forward to it.
If you’re still looking to partake in this holiday-themed weekend, we’ve got you covered. Check out our Christmas Carol page for more info on the show! See you at the theater!
Images courtesy of Maryland Ensemble Theater.