17 Dec 2013

A Nantucket Christmas Carol

Ebenezer Scrooge was front and center on the Bennett Hall stage these past few weeks, but the mood was anything but “humbug” in the quaint Centre Street playhouse as the Theatre Workshop of Nantucket cast and crew wowed audiences with their heartfelt and rousing presentation of the Charles Dickens classic – A Christmas Carol. The sets, props, sound and special effects were at once eerie and spectacular. Sean McGuirk was brilliant as Ebenezer Scrooge and the additional adult cast (many of them local talent) were equally impressive in their various roles. But it was the children (all of them Nantucket youth!) who stole the show with their singing, dancing and stirring performances.

The underlying message from A Christmas Carol reminds audiences that the easiest way to overcome our “bah humbug” mentality is to take a page from Ebenezer’s script and review our lives through a threefold lens. Mr. Scrooge himself ultimately professed, “I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach.”

Nantucket is often referred to…particularly during the holiday season…as the quintessential Charles Dickens setting. It is, in many ways, the ultimate fusion of past, present and future. A visit from the Ghost of Christmas Past would likely be delighted to find so many organizations and governing bodies in place to help ensure our architecture and natural habitats are being protected and preserved…the people of Nantucket writing, speaking and teaching about the island’s history, descendants and lore as we all seek to pay homage to the island’s long standing traditions.

The Ghost of Christmas Present would find the island embracing…and passionately protecting…its rich heritage, while simultaneously seeking ongoing ways to modernize and improve its commerce, infrastructure and create new opportunities for those who visit or live on Nantucket. Then there is the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. What will the Grey Lady look like fifty or a hundred years from now? Will our children and grandchildren remain as devoted to her preservation and sustainability as those who came before us? That charge, it seems, lies with each of us and the decisions, dedication and determination that we commit today to inspire our young people to invest in the island we all love.

If you’re lucky enough to be on the island for a Nantucket Christmas, set aside some time to create your own Charles Dickens moments. Take a stroll up the cobblestone Main Street and pause in front of a historic home or storefront as you consider the past, embrace the present and look toward the future.

Bless us everyone.

Shellie Dunlap

Related Posts
  • 06 Dec 2011 Nantucket Christmas Stroll It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – everywhere you go on Nantucket The kids were out en masse this past week decorating all the trees on Main Street. Entire classrooms from the Nantucket Schools descended on downtown arms laden with decorations. The children could hardly contain their enthusiasm as they took their turn... Continue Reading
  • 26 Dec 2011 A Nantucket Christmas Eve… I’m not sure whether it’s the beautiful decorations lining the streets of downtown Nantucket the dropping temps outside or the thinning crowds as the quiet season sets in but when I step on to Main Street after a long work day I feel like I’ve walked into a private winter wonderland. The setting looks like... Continue Reading