A timeless masterpiece told in the spirit of La Frontera! This holiday ghost story is filled with thrills and chills to delight young and old alike. But more than a yuletide spectacle, this play is a tale of family, solitude, and redemption. By transplanting the familiar Dickens’ classic from Victorian England to the US/Mexican border, the story finds new life and cultural relevance. Though easily understood by English-speaking audiences, the play has a generous helping of español to add authenticity to the borderland story.
With Playwrights Jay Stratton and Adriana Domínguez
What inspired you to write this adaptation?
Jay: El Paso Texas and our University are about 80% Latinx population. I am a HUGE fan of "A Christmas Carol," but our traditional, euro-centric version of the show felt remote. We conceived of this adaptation as a way of keeping the spirit of Dickens' tale alive, but making it relevant for our border audience.
Adriana: Genuinely, it was a phone call from Jay! He called me to propose the adaptation and I was fascinated by the idea of creating more culturally connected work for our community.
What's your favorite part or line in the show? Why?
Jay: My favorite moment of the show is when Roberto Cratchit offers "Merry Christmas" to Scrooge at the end and Scrooge counters with Feliz Navidad. This to me is El Paso and Juarez at their best. Two cities, one community.
Adriana: I love ACT I, Scene 4 when we get to visit Don Peluche’s fiesta de Navidad. It is filled with such joy and a strong focus on community; it very much reminds me of Christmas with my family—music, food, and lots of love.
Tell us more about the characters. How did you make them unique for your show?
Adriana: I looked around our community; it is incredibly unique --the people are warm and kind and always willing to share. I also thought about what kind of people I encountered as a young person growing up en la frontera; I certainly encountered many Mother Superiors when I was in elementary school, attended parties hosted by Don Peluche-like characters, and have struggled with embracing a language and culture that is not always valued.
What did you try to achieve with this show?
Jay: Preserve the beloved Dickens story but make it new and fresh and useful for our border community.
Adriana: An expansion of representation and inclusion. So many pieces of theatre are from one perspective and this piece honors the cultura of the frontera.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
Jay: I helmed this adaptation when I was a relative newcomer to the border. The project of realizing the adaptation really helped me fall in love with my new home!
Adriana: Working on this piece has allowed me to further research and connect with my own culture. It has been incredibly fulfulling to take my own parents to this show and see their smiles when they feel included connected to what they are seeing on stage.