(left to right) Tania Richard (Mrs. Cratchit), Ariana D. Burks (Belinda Cratchit), Francesca Mereu (Emily Cratchit), Nora Fiffer (Belle), Michael Saguto (Peter/Boy Scrooge) and Greg Hirte (Musician) in rehearsal for Goodman Theatre’s 35th annual production of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (through Dec. 29).  Photo by Liz Lauren

Performances have begun at the 35th annual production of Charles Dickens’ 1834 novella, “A Christmas Carol,” directed by Goodman Associate Producer Steve Scott. The show is running through Dec. 29 in the Goodman’s Albert Theatre.

Five actors from Evanston have been cast in the production. Returning cast member Nora Fiffer playing Belle and Malcolm Ruhl, again acting as music director, are joined by 7-year-old Francesca Mereu, who will play Emily Cratchit; Michael Lindner as Mr. Fezziwig and Tania Richard as Mrs. Cratchit.

Actors of all ages from other areas of metropolitan Chicago have also been cast. Well-known Chicago actor Larry Yando will reprise Ebenezer Scrooge for the fifth time.

Over 35 years, “A Christmas Carol” at Goodman Theatre has hosted nine directors, eight Scrooges, 31 Tiny Tims and nearly 20,000 utterances of “Bah, Humbug!” in the unforgettable tale of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, a wealthy business man with no family and a disdain for holiday cheer and the poor in Victorian London.

One Christmas, Scrooge is visited by four ghosts who take him on an incredible journey that offers him a new perspective on everything from his dusty past to his dark future, and presents him with an opportunity to sympathize with his fellow man and rediscover life and love.

“‘A Christmas Carol’ has become my favorite holiday event over the years, and I am thrilled to direct this 35th anniversary production,” said Mr. Scott. “We’ve
assembled a cast of some of Chicago’s best actors to bring this story to life, including Larry Yando as the redoubtable Scrooge. I hope that we can make this year’s edition even scarier, funnier and more emotionally powerful than it’s been in the past.”

In conjunction with the 35th anniversary of the production, the Goodman has launched the “A Christmas Carol” Endowment to ensure the legacy of the production for generations to come.

Donations of all sizes (starting at $35) will provide permanent resources to allow others to enjoy “A Christmas Carol” year after year. More information, including times and ticket prices, is available at goodmantheatre.org/christmas.