MINNEAPOLIS - A woman will be playing Scrooge in select performances of the Guthrie Theater's "A Christmas Carol" for the first time this season.

Actress Charity Jones will play the lead role in the classic Christmas play for four of the performances: Nov. 26 at 7 p.m., Nov. 30 at 10:30 a.m., Dec. 6 at 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 10:30 a.m.

Jones' main role for the other 52 performances will be as Old Joe.

Actress Charity Jones

The actor cast in the lead role of Scrooge is Guthrie veteran Nathaniel Fuller, who has played Scrooge in previous seasons, and has also filled the roles of Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Yet to Come.

Marita Albinson, press associate at the Guthrie, says although a woman has never played Scrooge at the Guthrie, women have played men and vice versa in other shows. She says it's a common move in their Shakespeare productions.

Albinson says because the role of Scrooge is so demanding, the theater has chosen to schedule Jones as an alternate for some performances. She says Jones will still play Scrooge as a male character.

"Nothing about the script or other elements of the production will change because a woman is in the role," according to Albinson.

Charity Jones in the Guthrie Theater's "King Lear."

Jones has a substantial resume of past performances at the Guthrie including in Romeo and Juliet, King Lear, and past productions of A Christmas Carol.