At Brown University as an undergraduate ('05), Perlman's concentration was in theater, an inevitable outcome of growing up in a theater-addicted family on Long Island, who went to shows in London as well as on Broadway. He considered specializing in stage managing or acting (his one-man show in New York, Flying On the Wing, was an award winner), but he eventually settled on directing because he very much enjoys "telling a story."

Was it intimidating for Perlman to make A Christmas Carol seem fresh? After all, some subscribers have seen it every year for decades as a family tradition. "It was simultaneously intimidating and liberating," Perlman says. "It's definitely intimidating [because] people have seen it, they know what it is, it's hard to surprise people. But it's liberating because it means everything's been done before. So if I try to be original I'm going to fail. But if I know what story I want to tell and approach it as I would any other project . . .," and he trailed off.

"My job is to tell it fresh for me and hope that the audience sees it fresh as well," Perlman resumed. "If we're discovering it moment by moment, hopefully the audience will too." HO HO HO! Rachael Warren and Mauro Hantman in A Christmas Carol.

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