Michael Preston Announced as New Scrooge at Hartford Stage
Hartford Stage announced today that Michael Preston will be taking on the role of Ebenezer Scrooge for the 20th anniversary of Michael Wilson's beloved production of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas. Well known to Hartford audiences from his six seasons with the company playing the larger-than-life Mr. Marvel, Michael Preston has performed on Broadway and internationally with the Flying Karamazov Brothers and is on the faculty at Hartford's Trinity College. Preston follows in the footsteps of Bill Raymond, who retired last Christmas after 17 seasons in the role.
"Playing Scrooge is really a dream come true for me," Preston said. "I get to pay homage to Bill but also make the role mine. I'm completely honored and humbled. A Christmas Carol is at the very generous heart of the Hartford community. With the 20th anniversary of A Christmas Carol, Michael Wilson's adaptation is even more important in this particular world that we're in - the idea that change is possible and that the spirit of humanity resides in even the most troubled being."
"Michael Preston will bring much joy, humor, and a good dose of healthy mischief to the part. I can't wait for rehearsals to begin," said Rachel Alderman, Hartford Stage Artistic Associate and second-year director of the remounted A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas. "It feels like an early Christmas present - knowing that we have such a devilish Scrooge to discover together!"
Former Hartford Stage Artistic Director Michael Wilson, who adapted and directed the original Hartford Stage production of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas, said, "I am thrilled that Hartford Stage has selected Michael Preston to wear Scrooge's nightshirt beginning this November with the theatre's 20th anniversary production. There is no better way to honor Bill Raymond's inimitable mark on Dickens' iconic hero for almost two decades than by leaping forward with yet another extraordinarily theatrical and deeply detailed artist as Michael Preston. May all the ghosts of Christmas Carols past haunt Michael pleasantly for many years to come."
Preston, an Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance at Trinity College, served as co-director of Doug Elkins' Fräulein Maria, a playful dance-imbued love letter to The Sound of Music, performed in New York, at Jacob's Pillow, around the country and at Hartford Stage in June 2011. He also portrayed Egeus/Peter Quince in Darko Tresnjak's production of A Midsummer Night's Dream in collaboration with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra in January 2014.
Preston is a member of the Shaliko Company, founded by Leonardo Shapiro, in New York City. He has also worked with John Sayles (including the films Eight Men Out and Matewan), David Cale, Wynn Handman, and Theodora Skipitares. From 1991 through 2000, Preston toured internationally as one of the Flying Karamazov Brothers, including in three different runs on Broadway. He collaborated on and performed nine different shows with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, ranging from the post-modern tragedy Le Petomane to an update of Room Service (winner of an L.A. Critic's Award in 1998). They were nominated for an Olivier award in London for Best Comedy in 1994. Preston directed their show Life: A Guide for the Perplexed and co-directed Peter and the Wolf with Barbara Karger, which was choreographed by Doug Elkins, in Amsterdam in 2001.
Performances for the 20th anniversary season of A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas begin on Friday, November 24. Single tickets go on sale Saturday, July 15, and can be purchased through the Hartford Stage Box Office at 860-527-5151 or online at https://www.hartfordstage.org/christmas-carol/. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available for select performances. For additional information on group sales, call 860-520-7114 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.