DALLAS — The Ghost of Christmas Present is bringing an unfamiliar gift to the theater going masses this holiday season.
“And where might we find his surviving partner, Ebenezer Scrooge?” a Dallas Theater Center actor asked the character played by Sally Vahle.
“Her surviving partner,” Vahle sneered. “You have found her!”
Yep, like the Aerosmith classic, Scrooge looks like a lady.
The DTC’s version of A Christmas Carol is actress dominated this year, led by their first Miss Ebenezer Scrooge.
“Never in a million years would I have thought, ‘If I ever had a chance to play Scrooge…'” Vahle laughed.
Vahle is a veteran on screen and on stage, but she never expected to take on the 170-year-old role of Scrooge, at least until she was approached by Director Steven Walters.
“He gave me a call and said, ‘I’d love to take you out to breakfast. Let’s talk. I’d love to talk about Christmas Carol.’ Then he said, ‘I’m really interested in Scrooge as a woman rather than a man, and I’d love for you to play the role.’ I was like, ‘Really?'”
So what was her favorite part?
It’s the revelation that comes to her character through traveling back in time. One scene in particular is when her fiance breaks off their engagement because Scrooge has become completely absorbed in making money. Specifically, it’s when the fiance says, “May you be truly happy in the life that you’ve chosen.”
“Ah, it just goes all over me right now as I think about it,” Vahle said. “It’s like, wow, like an epiphany. If you could edit it really fast in a film, it’d be like cha cha cha cha cha cha BOOM.”
She went on this journey with a female Marley haunting her and a trio of friendly and fearsome female ghosts.
“One of the younger actresses that plays youngest Scrooge came up to me and said, ‘I’m so excited. I never thought in a million years that I’d get to play this role. Usually, it’s a boy.’ I said, ‘I know! I never thought I’d get to play this role either!'”
For anyone wondering how the female Scrooge compares to her traditional counterpart, you can find out for yourself.
Performances continue through December 28 at the Wyly Theater.
“Don’t be afraid,” Vahle said. “Don’t assume that the story can only be told by a man. I think that what people are discovering and what I discovered, actually, is I think that more than anything it’s a human story. I don’t think the story that Charles Dickens wrote is bound by gender.”