Actor’s Life: Becoming the Ghost of Christmas Past
Justine “Icy” Moral flew into the role of Ghost of Christmas Past during the 2017 Ford’s Theatre season. Below, Justine discusses what she looks forward to most about taking on one of Charles Dickens’s most iconic characters.
This holiday season you’ll play one of the otherworldly sprits who spooks Scrooge Out of his selfish ways and brings him back to compassion. What are you most looking forward to about playing the Ghost of Christmas Past?
I am looking forward to working with such a lovely group of human beings, and to sharing this beautiful story with so many families during my favorite time of the year! I am especially excited to be flying all around the stage.
For many in the region, coming to A Christmas Carol is an annual tradition. Why do you think the story is so timeless?
I believe the story is timeless because it brings awareness to such classic themes, finding humanity, finding kindness and compassion and not only during Christmas time but everyday.
When did you first encounter the story of A Christmas Carol?
I first encountered A Christmas Carol as a little girl. I watched the version with music by Alan Menken on TV. I remember falling in love with the movie, wanting to watch it over and over, and sing along! Then I saw that there were different versions of the story on film and watched those too. I just loved the story!
Have you seen A Christmas Carol at Ford’s?
I have seen it twice! And I remember loving it both times.
Do you have a favorite film or stage memory of this Christmas story?
Actually one of my most favorite moments of seeing this story on stage was here at Ford’s Theatre! I will always remember the first time I saw Felicia Curry make her entrance as the Ghost of Christmas Past. It was magical, she enters flying all around the stage so elegantly and gracefully and then suddenly throws snow in Scrooge’s bedroom. I remember the excitement and energy of everyone in the audience, especially the kids!
Ford’s audiences will recognize you from when you played Evelyn Nesbit in Ragtime this past spring. Like playing the real-life Evelyn, is there any pressure to playing such an iconic character in a way that’s uniquely yours?
Yes, there is always a little pressure! Especially in a show like this, which has a phenomenal cast that has been performing it for many years for many audiences, it is always hard to step in. I am excited to play and discover who I am and what I can bring to this role as well as I hope that I can step into it and continue the wonderful spirit and energy Felicia Curry so beautifully instilled into this character.
How does performing a role on stage at Ford’s Theatre add to the experience of the show?
So much history has happened at Ford’s Theatre and performing in such a place is very surreal. You look up and there’s the box President Lincoln was sitting in before he was assassinated. During Ragtime, I remember it being a very powerful experience. I cannot wait to see how it will feel being back up on that stage during A Christmas Carol. The theatre’s history draws in audiences from all over the country and even other countries and adds to the experience because you are sharing a story with so many people from all over.
You’ve worked in D.C. for several years now. What made you choose D.C. as your theatrical home as opposed to New York or other places in the country?
D.C. is where my heart is; not only is it a strong and loving theatre community, but my friends and my family are here, which makes performing here so special to me.
Come see Justine and the full A Christmas Carol cast on stage from November 15 to December 30, 2018.
A version of this post appeared in the Ford’s Theatre playbill for Death of a Salesman.
Lauren Beyea is Associate Director of Communications and Marketing at Ford’s Theatre, where she oversees media relations. She is editor of the Ford’s Theatre Blog. Follow her on Twitter @LaurenBeyea.