08 Dec
METRMAG Spotlight On: Jermaine L. Pearson and Joel Kaimakani Libed of Hanover Theatre's "A Christmas Carol"

(Cover Photo: A scene from "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through December 23, 2023. Photo Credit Erb Dufault Photography)

By Kevin T. Baldwin

METRMAG Reviewer

# 774-242-6724

METRMAG Spotlight On: Jermaine L. Pearson and Joel Kaimakani Libed of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts Annual Production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts

Presents its Annual Production of

Charles Dickens' 


Written by Charles Dickens  

Adapted and Directed by Troy Siebels   

Musical Director & Organist Timothy Evans

Choreographer Ilyse Robbins^   

Cast Includes: Abhimanyu Katyal* as “Timothy”; John Little* as “Ebenezer Scrooge”; Shelly Willis Fawson as “Vendor, Suzannah”; Aathaven Tharmarajah* as “Bob Cratchit”; Daniel Reardon* as “Fred”; Jermaine L. Pearson* as “Charitable Gentleman, Ghost of Christmas Present”; Steve Gagliastro* as “Charitable Gentleman, Mr. Fezziwig, Old Joe”; Amy Barker* as “Charwoman”; Brad Reinking* as “Ghost of Jacob Marley”; Lillian Rogers as “Ghost of Christmas Past, Match Girl”; Chris Bardizbanian as “Young Scrooge, Ignorance”; Corinne Sweeney as “Fan, Want”; Charlotte Siebels as “Youth Ensemble”; Aidan Leach as “Dick Wilkins”; Aidan Levinson as “Young Ebenezer”; Annie Kerins* as “Mrs. Fezziwig”; Marta Rymer* as “Laundress, Fiddler”; Channing Rion as “Belle”; Alka Nayyar* as “Mrs. Cratchit”; Sahana Sankar as “Martha Cratchit”; Shriram Shenoy as “Peter Cratchit”; Alexis Anu Thakkallapalli as “Belinda Cratchit”; Samarth Shenoy as “Tiny Tim”; Laura D. DeGiacomo* as “Millie, Fred's wife”; Michael Skrzek* as “Topper”; Maggie M. Clark as “Lucy”; Joel Kaimakani Libed* as “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come”; Ash Quasney-Sandler as “Newsboy”

Additional Creative Team:

Associate Director/Associate Music Director - Steve Gagliastro*; Associate Director/Associate Choreographer - Annie Kerins*; Set Designer - James Kronzer+; Costume Designer - Gail Astrid Buckley+; Lighting Designer - Charlie Morrison+; Sound Designer - Nick Joyce; Flying Effects - On the Fly Productions LLC; Production Stage Manager - Jane Siebels*; Assistant Stage Managers - Melissa Daroff* and Lisa Wondolowski*; VP Operations and Production - Lisa Hackman; Production Manager - Chadyn Case; Production Associate - Abby Ray; Production Assistant - Alyssa Morales; Assistant Costume Designer - Ryan C. Goodwin; Wardrobe Supervisor - Amelia Woodbury; Master Electrician - Matt Chrostowski; Head Carpenter - Mark Apholt; Rehearsal Accompanists - Jim Rice and Sean Redrow; Puppet Hand Fabricators - Chadyn Case and Amanda Bohart; South Asian Cultural Consultant - Alka Nayyar*; Dialect Consultant - Ashleigh Reade; Child Supervisor - Lyndsey Hawkes

* Member of Actors' Equity Association 

+ Member of United Scenic Artists 

^ Stage Directors and Choreographers Society 


December 16, 2022 through December 23, 2022 

(Contact Box Office for Exact Times) 

*Enjoy a pre-show concert featuring the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, the largest and most versatile theatre pipe organ in New England, led by A Christmas Carol Music Director Tim Evans! 

Presented at the HANOVER THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. 

For More Information:  

877-571-SHOW (7469) info@thehanovertheatre.org


Tickets are $32, $52 and $62 depending on seat location. Discounts are available for Broadway subscribers and active conservatory families. Please contact the box office at 877-571-7469 for more information and to inquire about accessible seating options. 



Contact Venue for Most Updated COVID-19 Safety Protocols and Information.

METRMAG Spotlight On: Jermaine L. Pearson and Joel Kaimakani Libed of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts Annual Production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol"

As the Hanover Theatre once again gets ready for its annual production of "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" its continuing commendable effort at acknowledging both inclusion and diversity is clearly part of its ongoing distinction. 

This year, two members of the cast spoke with METRMag and discussed this aspect among other things and, while coming from diverse American experiences, they share in their appreciation of the Worcester production created and spearheaded by Hanover Theatre’s own Troy Siebels

Joel Kaimakani Libed (JKL) returns to the annual production for his second appearance, this time portraying the “Ghost Of Christmas Yet To Come,” while newcomer Jermaine L. Pearson (JLP) makes his Hanover Theatre debut playing one of the “Charitable Gentlemen” and the “Ghost Of Christmas Present.” 

(Photo: Joel Kaimakani Libed performs as the “Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come” in Troy Siebels' adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through December 23, 2023. Photo Courtesy Hanover Theatre)

As noted in his program biography, Libed recently appeared in the musical, “Miss Saigon” in Texas - a production which also starred renowned actor Lou Diamond Phillips

Some of Libed's other credits include: “The Wizard Of Oz” International Tour (understudying for the “Lion”), “Into The Woods" as the “Baker,” “Cinderella" as “Prince Topher,” "Newsies" as “Jack Kelly” and “The Little Mermaid” as “King Triton.” 

- Joel – You, I believe, might have traveled the farthest because I read your credits and you did some work in Hawaii, is that correct? There are so many obvious similarities between Worcester and Hawaii, especially in terms of the weather - but how have you been enjoying your time here in the city? 

JKL – “Well, I was born and raised in Hawaii but I moved to New York City while in my twenties. I also did a number of cruise ship shows and traveled quite a bit. But I am enjoying Worcester. I actually moved to Worcester from NYC during the pandemic. So, I was coming at it like an outsider and found it truly is a hidden gem. Not just the theatre, we’ve got great restaurants and so many other wonderfully different things which I have gotten to discover now after a couple of years. So, while it is different than New York, it is definitely more my speed.” 

(Photo: Jermaine L. Pearson appears as both a “Charitable Gentleman" and the "Ghost of Christmas Present” in this year's production of Charles Dickens' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through December 23, 2023. Photo Courtesy Hanover Theatre)

A Rhode Island resident, some of Jermaine L. Pearson’s credits include: “The Color Purple” as “ Mister,” “A Raisin In The Sun” as “Walter Lee,” and understudying “Sweeney Todd” in Trinity Rep’s “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street."

Pearson also appeared in the musical, ”Little Shop of Horrors, voicing the murderous plant “Audrey II” bent on world domination - but in actuality, according to his bio, Pearson is “an avid writer, actor, singer, Preacher and Spoken Word artist who can be seen around New England using his artistry to advocate for social justice.” 

Jermaine, being from Rhode Island, you’re no stranger to the cold New England weather. Now you make your debut working at Worcester's Hanover Theatre in "A CHRISTMAS CAROL." So, how does it feel so far? 

JLP – “My first equity role was at the GAMM and, the state of Rhode Island is small so people can really get to know one another," Pearson says. "I just really started doing this (acting) about a year and a half ago. But I feel incredibly blessed to be part of this production.” 

Almost every year since the beginning many Hanover Theatre audiences have enjoyed Siebels' adaptation. 

It is simple yet elegant, a merging of the classic Dickens novella with timeless songs and with dazzling production values. 

Libed and Jackson each describe the production from their perspective. 

JKL – “So, this is my second year and, when I first did the show last year, Troy’s adaptation stuck out for me mostly because the ‘Cratchit’ family was an immigrant family, which spoke volumes to me,” Libed says, explaining how “An immigrant family is more relatable to me and the immigrant struggles shown here (in Dickensian London) could easily be those struggles of immigrants in America.” 

Libed also notes how there is an “Interesting twist because when you watch the Hanover Theatre’s 'A CHRISTMAS CAROL' you feel for the Cratchits more because they face more struggles than just being poor. This show shines a nice cool light on that. I’m a musical theatre guy. This isn’t a musical. It is a play with music, but there’s a lot more storytelling here and the text really shines through.” 

JLP – “I have to echo Joel’s sentiments,” Pearson says. “I grew up in Chicago and I’ve seen a few versions which have basically been ‘homogenous’…and I’m being intentionally careful with my words here. Seeing a diversity of faces on stage speaks volumes of the theatre’s commitment to diversity, inclusivity and diversifying in the sense that you are telling the same story from a different ‘lens.’" 

Pearson adds, “I never connected to ‘Scrooge’ but, with the diversity of this cast, and seeing the story as the character I am playing this year, I can see it from a new perspective. I can now better see the trauma involved and how ‘Scrooge’ interacts with the world. Peoples’ true selves have come out over the last five years or so and trauma connects us all.” 

(Photo: A scene from Troy Siebels' adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through December 23, 2023. Photo Credit David Costa Photography)

"A CHRISTMAS CAROL" is a holiday staple but there are multiple variations of the show out there. However, both Libed and Pearson point out why they have never done the show prior to Troy Siebels' adaptation.   

JKL – “I feel I’ve done no other productions but part of that may be because I never saw myself in the show,” Libed says. “When Troy’s version came out and I auditioned, I just saw how the ‘Cratchits’ were going to be South Asian and I am thankful this is my experience. I hope to continue with it. I know it has been going on for 16 years. However, they (the Hanover Theatre) still want to make the show more relatable, and those huge strides speak volumes to me.” 

JLP – “Well, again, this is my first time doing the show but, just like Joel pointed out as well, I never really saw myself in this role,” Pearson says. “I remember seeing the show last year and, up on stage, there was a Black man playing him (the ‘Ghost of Christmas Present’) and I thought to myself, 'maybe I should audition because I could do the same.'” 

Both actors explain a little bit about their respective characters, the ghosts of Christmas "Present" and "Yet to Come” and any challenges faced in playing them. 

- Joel, as the "Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come," you have the added stress of functioning as a kind of puppeteer, don’t you? 

JKL – “Yeah, and there is some effort in embracing it in the rehearsal process. I’m not generally a shy, quiet person and a lot of my personality generally tends to shine through in my performances. However, that is not used in this role – it is silent.” 

Libed describes the benefits in playing such a role further in as it can best be described as being, “Essentially a puppet.” 

“It allows me, as an actor to feel how bigger a ‘presence’ (any presence) can be,” Libed explains. “It was challenging to do this and that’s kind of another reason I am doing this - for that challenge. I’m about 11 or 12 feet tall in that (‘Christmas Yet to Come’) costume. I did the show in 2021 as another character but I saw the previous costume they used and it was a struggle for that actor. It is much easier to move around in now.” 

In his Hanover Theatre debut as the “Ghost of Christmas Present” Pearson describes the character as “not mean” and explains how it serves as a departure for roles in which he has been previously cast. 

JLP – “My character is happy and jovial. Most of my roles have been complex, intense and mean spirited – his demeanor (‘Christmas Present’) is more like my own character in general, especially as I am a Pastor,” Pearson explains. “One challenge I did have was that I needed to get a better handle on the (British) accent and language used in the production.” 

(Photo: A scene from Troy Siebels' adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" playing at the Hanover Theatre in Worcester, MA. through December 23, 2023. Photo Credit Erb Dufault Photography)

"A CHRISTMAS CAROL" is a story of one man’s redemption (‘Scrooge’), carrying with it a message of how people should interact with each other. 

Are there other themes or messages these two actors also find in this particular adaptation and how this production has been approached by Troy Siebels and the entire creative team?  

JKL – “At the end of the day, the theatre (Hanover Theatre) is trying to be diverse and move forward. Sometimes you may not understand a person’s past, but you do have to respect it. It is okay, sometimes, to NOT know or understand," Libed says. "This production really shows every walk of life and where certain people are coming from, different backgrounds and different struggles but, ultimately, they all come together and show their humanity.” 

JLP – “The show illustrates the power and ability of people and the possibility for change," Pearson says. "Regarding that, I also want to note the character of ‘Scrooge’s’ nephew, ‘Fred’ who is absolutely resilient in getting ‘Scrooge’ to change and to be that better version of himself that ‘Fred’ thinks Scrooge’ can be. Because of our ability to be like ‘Fred,’ we (the audience) also never give up on ‘Scrooge’ - and we should never give up on people despite their past.” 

Working with this latest Hanover Theatre cast, what has stood out so far and been most interesting and enjoyable? 

JLP – “A lot of the cast actually come from different places I have lived and, during those times we have the chance we talk about where we were all growing up and how now here we all are - having different ethnicities and races but we also have these similar stories about the various places and connections we might share and reminisce. That gives you a sense of home.” 

And, finally, what comes AFTER "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" for each of these two performers? 

JLP – “I think I’m going to make the move and transfer down to New Haven," Pearson says, adding, "Just to be a little closer to New York City.”

While his castmate, the traveler who came to Worcester from Hawaii and New York City (among other places) says,

JKL – “I’m taking a few months to buy a home,“ Libed says. “Taking a well-earned break - but, then I'll probably be jumping back into whatever’s up next. But you DO have to be an adult sometime.” 

The 16th anniversary production of the Hanover Theatre's "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" will begin on December 16th and continue through December 23rd.


Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.

Approximately two hours with one intermission

Kevin T. Baldwin is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) 




Adapted by the president and CEO Troy Siebels and featuring the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, the annual production returns to the main stage with timeless music, lavish costumes, and spine-tingling special effects. 

New and returning cast members tell the tale of curmudgeonly miser, Ebenezer Scrooge, who is visited by the Spirits of Christmases Past, Present and Yet To Come.

The show is refined and revised each year to feature more magic than ever before, with an array of spectacles from smoke and fog to spectacular flying stunts. 

Approximately two hours, 15 minutes with one intermission


Please contact the box office at 877-571-SHOW (7469) for more information.


Worcester Center for Performing Arts is a registered not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, which owns and operates The Hanover Theatre and Conservatory for the Performing Arts. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.


2 Southbridge Street

Worcester, MA. 01608

877-571-SHOW (7469)