A free Christmas Carol from American Century, listen from home

On Sunday, December 22nd, audiences and actors alike will be gathered around their phones for the live one hour telecast of A Christmas Carol Radio Drama, brought to you free of charge, thanks to American Century Theater.

tactcc1It will take a cast of 25 performers to create this Christmas story, led by Capital Steps member Andy Clemence, who uncannily evokes Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge. Deb Critzer, David Elias, Chad Fornwalt, Kathryn Fuller, Bill Gordon, Steve Lebens, Bruce Alan Rauscher, Jacqueline Manger, Emily Morrison and Michael Replogle and Tom Manger and the Manger family are among the American Century ensemble.

“We last did this in 2009, and the response was overwhelming,” says Jack Marshall, Artistic Director of the Arlington, Virginia–based company that specializes in reviving important dramatic works. “The teleconference technology beautifully captures the sound and feel of the Golden Age of radio drama, when Campbell’s Soup presented an annual live broadcast of A Christmas Carol starring Lionel Barrymore as Scrooge, to millions of families across the country on Christmas Eve. Our production—–with the actors performing from their own homes!—-is a wonderful showcase of the vocal talents of our professional acting company, and also shows how modern technology can evoke classic entertainment. This is our gift to theater-goers in Arlington, the Greater Washington area, and the nation.”

In a format for drama that was pioneered by The American Century Theater, actors use their telephones as microphones, and TACT’s in-house sound designer Ed Moser mixes in sound effects and music.

tactcc2How to hear the show:

A few minutes before 8pm on Sunday, December 22nd

Dial 1-443-453-0034

Enter Christmas Carol Code 758246

Upon entering the virtual theater, press *4 to mute your line

TACT suggests that listeners use speakerphones when possible, so families and groups can listen together.
There is no charge to the listening audience, except for regular long distance rates, if applicable.

“The radio theater format gives us an opportunity to bring live theater directly into homes. And generations who have only heard their grandparents speak of the magic of radio will get to experience it first hand,” explains TACT Chair Lou George. The company is encouraging everyone to alert friends and family to the production and to encourage call-in listeners from every state. “There is something special in knowing that so many others are listening too,” says Marshall. “Our company is dedicated to nourishing live theater as an opportunity for shared experiences and ideas. We hope you will  join us for an hour of holiday memories, great literature, and Christmas spirit.”


Lorraine Treanor About Lorraine Treanor

Lorraine Treanor has been editor of DC Theatre Scene since 2006. She has produced plays and concerts in her hometown of Chicago, and twice in the Capital Fringe festival. Her daughter Nina Norris is an artist working in Chicago. Life's a blast because she shares it with writer Tim Treanor.


  1. ACT did a fabulous job. It was unfortunate that a particular household not only did not mute their phone, but talked loudly and incessantly throughout, despite repeated requests for phones to be muted. It didn’t even appear they were paying the slightest attention to the show. I hope it doesn’t dissuade ACT from continuing this tradition, as we have so enjoy this both last year and this. Great job by all the actors to forge ahead despite the disruptions!

  2. Barbra Kavanaugh says:

    Although, at times, folks didn’t mute their phones – this is a lot of fun……I would love to make it a holiday tradition – especially as so many of my friends and family members are far away and it’s fun think of listening together…..



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