This year will be special as Jerry Longe plays his final year as Ebenezer Scrooge in the Omaha Community Playhouse’s mainstage production of A Christmas Carol. Longe has played the role of Scrooge for 17 years.
He first moved to Omaha in 1980 and toured with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s production of A Christmas Carol playing Marley, Ghost of Christmas Present and Jake.
For Longe, his role in A Christmas Carol has been life changing. He says, “I’ve made lifelong friends through this production, and that has been a tremendous gift to me every single Christmas.”
Over the 47 years that OCP has produced A Christmas Carol, only two people have played the role of Scrooge – Jerry Longe for 17 years and the late Dick Boyd for 30 years. When Boyd stepped away, former artistic director Carl Beck asked Longe to play Scrooge.
“I said sure I’d love to do it, and it’s turned out to be the best Christmas present anybody ever gave me,” says Longe.
Longe started the role in 2006 and said one of the best aspects of playing Scrooge is the ability to hone and refine the character year after year. While it’s a difficult decision to step away, he feels that the role demands more energy than he is able to give it anymore. Longe is also expecting his first granddaughter in the spring of 2023, with whom he’s excited to spend the holidays.
“A Christmas Carol isn’t about me. It’s about the show and what it means to the community…I felt it was time to go out on a high note,” says Longe.
Over the years, the holiday show has become so popular, it’s an annual tradition for many area families. OCP representatives say how Longe’s involvement has impacted the organization and community.
“Jerry has brought and continues to bring an enormous amount of invention, humor, pathos, and love to the role of Ebenezer Scrooge. His humility and professionalism set a high bar for all of us on both sides of the stage. An extremely talented actor and a wonderful friend, Jerry leaves an indelible mark on our treasured production,” -Susie Baer Collins, former OCP Associate Artistic Director and Director of A Christmas Carol.
“Jerry has poured his heart into this role over the past 17 years, and he will be so greatly missed. He graced the show with immense humor and unmatched energy. He will probably never know how many lives he has impacted with this story of hope and redemption,” -Katie Broman, OCP Executive Director.
“Watching Jerry perform Scrooge is truly a masterclass in artistic excellence and love for theatre and storytelling. It’s an honor and a privilege to work with Jerry during his final year and he will forever leave a brilliant stamp on our production,” -Stephen Santa, OCP Artistic Director and Director of A Christmas Carol.
Longe will be honored on the final performance of A Christmas Carol on Friday, Dec. 23. The directors of A Christmas Carol will cast a new Scrooge in 2023.
A Christmas Carol runs in the Hawks Mainstage Theatre from Nov. 18 through Dec. 23. Performances will be held Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and two performances Sundays at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now starting at $40 for adults and $26 for students, with ticket prices varying by performance. Tickets may be purchased at the OCP Box Office, located at 6915 Cass Street, by phone at (402) 553-0800 or online at OmahaPlayhouse.com.
Jerry Longe’s Biography
Having spent the past 38 years in Omaha, Jerry Longe considers himself an Omaha native. This is his 17th year playing Ebenezer Scrooge in the Omaha Community Playhouse production of A Christmas Carol. He toured with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan productions playing Marley, Ghost of Christmas Present and Jake. Jerry’s OCP credits include Theodore Roosevelt in Teddy and Alice, Strider in Strider and Charlie in The Foreigner. Other credits include Red, Talk Radio, The Ice Fishing Play, The Dresser, Arcadia, Little Nellie’s Naughty Noel and The Toxic Avenger–the Musical, at the Blue Barn Theatre, Kris Cringle in Miracle on 34th Street and Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life at The Rose Theatre and many others. His film roles include Truman with Gary Sinise, Miracle of the Heart with the late Art Carney, Lovely, Still with Martin Landau and the independent film, The Scientist. His voice can be heard on numerous local and regional radio and television commercials as well as on the syndicated cartoon series, Street Sharks, Liberty’s Kids, Strawberry Shortcake and Horseland. When not writing, voicing, teaching and performing, he tours across the nation as “The Voice Of BravO!” as he emcees the BravO! National Dance and Talent Competition.