Judy Thompson

StageNotes - A Christmas Carol

For the Love of A Christmas Carol

An Interview with Judy Thompson 

By Nicholas Denninger, Development Apprentice

Bill Raymond and Judy Thompson.
Bill Raymond and Judy Thompson.

Hartford Stage’s annual production of A Christmas Carol has delighted audiences since 1997. Now in its 20th anniversary season, it was former Artistic Director Michael Wilson who decided the production should occur annually. In an interview, Judy Thompson, a member of Hartford Stage’s Board of Directors and regular donor and patron, elaborated on her love of A Christmas Carol and what the production means to her and the Greater Hartford community.

How long have you been attending A Christmas Carol?

Since the beginning.

What does A Christmas Carol mean to you? Why do you continue to see it?

When I was a little girl, I watched the black and white film version of A Christmas Carol with Reginald Owen and absolutely fell in love with it. When I heard that Hartford Stage was producing a version of the story, I knew I had to go see it. Everything I had seen in the black and white film version was reproduced in color, and I was absolutely blown away.

At the end of the year, we need something that regenerates the spirit of joy and forgiveness, and this show does just that. It reaffirms my faith in mankind and its ability to forgive and spread joy during what can be a tumultuous time of year. I’ve even been in the show several times! I’ve played Mrs. Sanford in the past and the solicitors argue over me, and I absolutely love it! The cast becomes a family, everyone is gracious, and everyone loves what they’re doing. I look forward to it every year, even when I’m not in the show. Perhaps one of my favorite things is seeing my grandchildren sit on the edge of their seats while they watch! 

In your opinion, what does A Christmas Carol mean to the community and the Greater Hartford area? What about our production specifically – and the story in general – makes people want to return to Hartford Stage to see it year after year?

This story has many universal themes people can relate to. In recent years, the cast has become very ethnically diverse, and I think this helps people to see past their prejudices in order to bring Hartford together. The show has something for everybody – spooky ghosts, comedy, and fun music – and everything is pointed towards love and hope. Everyone at Hartford Stage really hits the nail on the head with this production, and people walk out of the show full of Christmas spirit.

I know my husband and I will be attending the show until we’re physically incapable of going. I’m so grateful to Michael Wilson for making this an annual production; I’m so grateful I’m on a board that is so inclusive; and I love that I can be a part of an organization like Hartford Stage.