A new face is taking on a beloved role at Geva Theatre Center

ROCHESTER, N.Y. This holiday season, there’s a new face taking on a beloved role at Geva Theatre Center.

For its 50th anniversary season, Geva welcomes veteran actor Michael Preston to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge.

”I feel more alive on stage,” said Preston. “It’s nice to be forced to be truly alive every day.”

Preston is new to Rochester but no stranger to the classic Charles Dickens tale. He comes to us from Hartford, Connecticut, where he played Scrooge in six previous productions with the Hartford Stage.

“I’m loving Rochester,” said Preston. “It’s incredible to see people be moved and come back year after year to this story and still make it alive for them.”

An Olivier Award-nominee who has toured the world and appeared several times on Broadway, Preston plays one of literature’s most iconic curmudgeons.

“The length of kind of miserliness and meanness that he can go to, his kind of walling off of himself, I think we all feel that,” said Preston.

If you’ve seen the show or read the story, you’ll remember the moment when Scrooge’s surly attitude changes.

“The switch between being at the gravesite, and being at the end of life, then being redeemed and feeling that relief, it has to be so honest,” said Preston. “It just has to be there, and I’m always a little scared that I’m not gonna make it.”

Geva’s first production of A Christmas Carol was in 1985. Of the theatre’s 50 seasons, 37 have included the holiday favorite. Now in a milestone year, Geva ushers in a new era of cherished traditions, starting with this timeless story about the spirit of Christmas, community, and redemption.

“We don’t have a lot of time here, you know, we think we have endless time and we don’t, and we better make our changes now,” said Preston. “We lose sight as we’re living life and going through the banalities of everything we’re doing, jobs and stuff, of how much that connection to each other matters.”

A Christmas Carol is onstage now through Dec. 30 at Geva Theatre Center. Click here for tickets and more information.