CAPA has been presenting the Nebraska Theatre Caravan's production of "A Christmas Carol" for more than 30 years now.

CAPA has been presenting the Nebraska Theatre Caravan's production of "A Christmas Carol" for more than 30 years now.

This will be Paul Thomas Kerr's first.

It will be the actor's first performance as Scrooge as well, something which has him tickled.

"I will think during rehearsals sometimes, 'I'm doing Scrooge,'" Kerr told ThisWeek.

Kerr said there are a handful of these kinds of parts, where the character is so well-loved or well-known that it's both exciting and daunting.

"It's hard in the sense that people have an image in their mind," Kerr explained. "But on the other hand, it's such a great character, you just have to stay true to it."

Kerr said the same about the play itself.

"I think the reason the story has legs is because everyone gets caught up in Christmas -- and not always in a good way, with house cleaning and shopping -- people go a little nuts," he laughed. "Everyone wants to see Christmas for the first time, and that happens to Ebenezer. Things have happened in his life that happen to all of us to a certain degree, and we get to share in his vision at the end of the show."

Kerr admitted to being a fan of the many treatments of "A Christmas Carol," from the film starring George C. Scott to the version featuring the Muppets. He said, however, that he intends his portrayal to not be derivative.

And he feels this particular treatment of the story stands up as well, from production values (he refused to give any secrets about the special effects, which include a spinning bed, snow and fog, and Jacob Marley's appearance), to song-and-dance numbers and the cast, which he said is first-rate.

Kerr said there is a certain inherent magic to live theater.

"There's something about getting the kids dressed up and in the car and going out to the theater," he said. "It's different than going to the movies or watching television. The people on the screen don't need you -- but we need you."

A closer look