Bah humbug! Scrooge, ever-the-curmudgeon, is a tragic figure. Sneering at Christmas! Such a missed opportunity for fun, family, and connection. Greedy Scrooge. Forsaking love with the kind-hearted Belle, Scrooge prefers counting his money. Such loss!
Stingy Scrooge turns a blind eye to the poor in his midst. He stashes away sacks of gold in his safe, refusing to part with farthing for the destitute. Can anyone feel sorry for this solitary character?
Recently The Guthrie Theater invited members of The Bridge for Youth to a post-play discussion following A Christmas Carol. It was an opportunity to dig deeper into the intricacies of Dicken’s time-tested play.
“Early in the play, we learn that Scrooge is abandoned by his mother and his drunken father,” said Janet Hallaway, Community Engagement Manager at The Bridge. “Cast out, neglected, abandoned, Scrooge finds a way to survive.”
“At The Bridge for Youth, we see many young boys on the cusp of adulthood who are pushed out of their homes due to poverty or family instability. Like Scrooge, these kids are doing their best to survive without the comfort of a home or the support of family. ”
Research shows that its connection with family, kin, or even friends that can make a difference in the lives of homeless youth. Establishing and maintaining connections with others can help these at-risk youth overcome barriers that may seem insurmountable.
“There’s always opportunity for redemption,” said J.C. Cutler, the actor portraying Scrooge in the play. Cutler points out that redemption doesn’t come easily. Three ghosts are needed to help Scrooge see new possibilities and to take action on those possibilities.
“Homeless youth may be blind to their potential when they arrive in our shelter,” said Hallaway. “Yet, with support they can move beyond obstacles in their lives. Homelessness does not need to follow generations.”