What is National Special Education Day? Why is it Critical That We Observe it?
The actors chatted briefly about their role in the play, their appearance and/or physicality and how they might approach that in their portrayal. The Ghost of Christmas Present described herself as having “brown skin and black hair” and told us she plays a charwoman near the end of the play, too. Each actor gave us a few lines from the play and it was astonishing to hear the Ghost of Christmas Present sing one of her lighthearted lines from when she’s in her hoop skirt, then transform to a baritone charwoman for that later scene…all right before my very ears!
The last actor to describe themselves was the Ghost of Christmas Past. You can get a great example of how generous the actors are with their descriptions hear by listening to a recording of Lucky Stiff describing what it’s like to dress as the Ghost of Christmas Past for every performance. (Use the link to the audio player below.)
When Goodman’s Andy Wilson explained that they switch up the performance every year, I couldn’t help but laugh. “Sounds like this one’s gonna be like Cirque du Soleil!”
- Musicians on stage throughout the play portray buskers on the street outside of Scrooge’s office –sounded to me like a bass, a French horn, a violin, a recorder, an acoustic guitar, even an…accordion! So nice to hear live music on stage again.
- Rather than Scrooge having a nephew Fred, in this version he has a niece Frida who invites Scrooge over every Christmas.
- The party where all the dancing goes on is traditionally at Mr. Fezziwig’s place, (he’s a businessman who uses Scrooge as his banker) but in this version the business is owned by two women. Mrs. Fezziwig Mrs. Fezziwig dance together in this scene.
- Tiny Tim is portrayed by a 12-year-old Chicago girl whose parents immigrated here from India
- And lest we forget: some of the characters fly – Scrooge flies with Lucky, the Ghost of Christmas Past.
I had a wonderful time with Kelly and Anita, they both were so kind-hearted, totally comfortable around me and very helpful, too: ordering coffee before the show, snacks during intermission and then a Lyft ride home afterwards
During the pre-show the actors explained to me exactly when the flying scene would happen, how the flying contraption works, how heavy it is to wear and so on. Audio describer Jason Harrington jumped on stage at one point to walk around it and describe the setting and scene changes – so helpful.
Just heard this morning that Goodman has cancelled some of their upcoming shows due to the surge of the omicron virus, so I’m especially glad we got there when we did. Time with family at A Christmas Carol got me into the Christmas spirit this year, a happy feeling that won’t go away.
Anita, Kelly and I learned most of what I’m reporting above from going to that “audio tour” before the show
In celebration of National Special Education Day, Team Easterseals is in conversation with Erika Watson, the National Director Childhood Development, Education, and Equity at the Easterseals National Office.
National Special Education Day was first celebrated in 2005, which was the 30th anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). It is important to acknowledge Special Education Day because nearly 14% of all public-school children-7.3 million children-receive special education services guaranteed to them by IDEA.
That is 7.3 million reasons to honor the hard work, the wins, and the possibilities of young people on their unique pathway toward fulfilling their potential. It is important that we observe this day to bring attention and awareness to the special education system to ensure that the most vulnerable students among us have access to everything that they need to be successful. It is important to highlight the children, people and families that are beneficiaries of this work.