May 24–May 26


Jun 14–Jul 08
Jul 31–Aug 24
Sep 13

Overland Park, KS

Oct 17

Madison, WI

Man Cin 1709

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol

An avowed holiday skeptic, Aunt Trudy has been recruited to channel her late husband Joe’s famous Christmas cheer. From the isolation of her Chicago home, she reconstructs his annual Christmas Carol puppet show – over a Zoom call while the family celebrates Christmas Eve under lockdown. But as Trudy becomes more absorbed in her own version of the story, the puppets take on a life of their own, and the family’s call transforms into a stunning cinematic adaptation of Dickens’s classic ghost story.

Rated PG due to heavy themes of loss and death as well as spooky ghosts.

The premiere of Manual Cinema’s virtual Christmas Carol took place on December 3, 2020 and was streamed live from our Chicago studio to folks across the globe.

Manual Cinema's live Christmas Carol premiered at Writers Theatre Nov. 29, 2022.

For ticketing questions please contact the Writers Theatre Box Office.

Returning Winter 2023!

A Manual Cinema Production
Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens
Devised by Manual Cinema
Additional Writing by Nate Marshall
Ghost of Christmas Past
Ghost of Christmas Present cropped
Christmas Carol 2022 Hero

Manual Cinema's Christmas Carol at Writers Theatre, Photos by Liz Lauren

Honors & Awards


A Manual Cinema Production

Adapted from the novel by Charles Dickens

Devised by Manual Cinema

Additional Writing by Nate Marshall


Storyboards and Puppet Design Drew Dir*

Original Score and Sound Design Ben Kauffman* and Kyle Vegter *

Lighting Design Trey Brazeal

Associate Lighting Design Hannah Wien

Additional Puppet Design and Fabrication by the Chicago Puppet Studio artists, Caitlin McLeod, Jackie Kelsey, Sion Silvio and Tom Lee

Costume Design Julia Miller*

Properties Design Rae Watson

Puppet Build Assistants Lizi Breit and Julia Miller*

Sound Engineer Mike Usrey

Stage Manager Natalie Cohen

Costume Supervisor Darcy Hofer

Audio/Video Supervisor Amanda Hosking

Lighting Supervisor Raphael Grimes


LaKecia Harris (Aunt Trudy)

Lizi Breit (Puppeteer)

Julia Miller* (Puppeteer)

Jeffrey Paschal (Puppeteer)

Ben Kauffman* (Lead Vocals, Keys, Piano, Voice Over)

Lucy Little (Violin, Vocals)

Kyle Vegter* (Cello, Keys, Bass, Vocals, Voice Over)

2023 Additional Cast

Nora Barton (Cello, Keys, Bass)

Teiana Davis (Lead Vocals, Keys, Piano)

Felix Mayes (Puppeteer)

Kevin Michael Wesson (Puppeteer)


Josh Bernaki (Puppeteer)

Kaylah Crosby (Aunt Trudy)

2022 Additional Cast

Sarah Fornace* (Puppeteer)

Emily Meyer (Violin, Vocals)


Leah Casey (Puppeteer)

Jyreika Guest (Aunt Trudy)

*Denotes Co-Artistic Director of Manual Cinema

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