Mr. Dickens' Hat

Mr. Dickens' Hat

By Michael Hollinger
Originally Produced at Northlight Theatre, Skokie, IL
November 26, 2021 - January 2, 2022

Mr Dickens Hat Promotional Image

In a cozy Victorian shop sits the prized hat of Charles Dickens. When a pair of bumbling thieves plots to steal it, young Kit sets out to foil their plan, save the hat, and free her father from debtors’ prison. Filled with a host of colorful characters, constables, and carolers, this warm winter’s tale also features original music.

Artistic Statement: Northlight has always strived to find work for the holiday season that appeals to a broad intergenerational audience, and it goes without saying that equity and inclusion are key components of our commissioning goals. Michael Hollinger's Mr. Dickens' Hat is a tremendous match. The characters invite diverse casting opportunities in gender and race, as well as interesting theatrical opportunities requiring actors to play instruments and employ exciting physical representation in a style not often utilized here at Northlight. The feminist themes and the father-daughter relationship in Mr. Dickens' Hat stay true to what we know connects with our audience. It is a tricky balance to present sophisticated work that engages families, and playwright Michael Hollinger has walked that line skillfully, aided by the refined yet highly imaginative flourishes that director David Catlin brings to the process.

Grant Statement: The chance to experiment in an expanded tech rehearsal period will provide more creative exploration for director David Catlin, which he is accustomed to at his home theatre, Lookingglass, and at Northwestern University, a frequent incubator for his work. Without this expansion of rehearsal on the set, the chance to be more creative and perhaps more daring, would be limited. The workshops we have done have allowed us to get the book in rehearsal shape, but the physical staging needs time to explore and cure, as well as to shape the musical components around the choreography of freshly discovered staging.

Director: David Catlin