The turn of the Scrooge: Metro Atlanta actors ponder Dickens of a role

Version: "Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol"

Production company: Aurora Theatre, Lawrenceville

Run dates: Dec. 2-19

Website: http://www.auroratheatre.com/new/

Scrooge: Anthony Rodriguez

Road to Scrooge: An Aurora veteran, Rodriguez recalls a dressing-room conversation with Aurora collaborator Tony Brown that led to a one-man show, with Rodriguez playing multiple characters (now in his fourth year).

Favorite Scrooge: "The only ones I've really seen all the way through is the Muppets version and Bill Murray in 'Scrooged.' I can't say as I have a favorite Scrooge."

Why Scrooge is special: "I've grown a year older and that year's worth of life experiences influences my interpretation of the characters. I lost a very dear friend this year, and that has changed the way I look at Scrooge's relationship with Marley."

Version: "A Christmas Carol"

Production company: Kudzu Playhouse, Roswell

Run dates: Nov. 27-Dec. 24

Website: http://www.kudzuplayhouse.org/

Scrooge: Brink Miller

Road to Scrooge: A retired colonel in the Army Corps of Engineers, Miller got involved in local theater here after retirement, mainly to help his daughter during her own audition, and has been doing Scrooge in Roswell since 1995.

Favorite Scrooge: Alistair Sim in the 1951 movie version

Why Scrooge is special: "There is such a dramatic contrast in the character. It's just fun to go through that change and to try to show the audience that change."

Version: "A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas"

Production company: The Renaissance Project, Decatur

Run dates: Dec. 3-19

Website: http://www.trp-atl.org

Scrooge: Nick Lamarr

Favorite Scrooge: Can't recall. "It has been a good 30 years since I've seen it."

Road to Scrooge: A retired Army sergeant, Lamarr's been involved in local theater for years, more recently with Renaissance Project. "I'm usually playing a druggie, pimp or pusher," he said. So when he was asked two years ago to participate in the play, "I've never seen a black Scrooge, so I thought they were bringing me in to play a ghost. To give a brother a chance to do a Scrooge, I was impressed. But the Renaissance Project likes to take chances."

Why Scrooge is special: "When you look at all the things he missed, you see he's not a typical bad guy. He saw the road that he went down. In the military, during Christmas, you miss family a lot of times. I can relate."

Version: "A Dickens' Christmas Carol: A Traveling Travesty in Two Tumultuous Acts"

Production company: Act1 Theater, Alpharetta

Run dates: Nov. 26-Dec. 19

Website: http://www.act1theater.com/

Scrooge: Jim Gray

Road to Scrooge: A retired Navy pilot, the 67-year-old is in his debut run as Scrooge after a director for a dinner-theater production he was in recommended the part. "I just read it for the fun of it, I didn't have it in my heart. But then I read for the part, and thought it was wonderful."

Favorite Scrooge: Gray owns an American Decca record of a 1941 radio broadcast featuring Ronald Colman as Scrooge. "He's icy and aloof and removed. It is chilling in its disconnection from life. … With radio, you close your eyes and you're there!"

Why Scrooge is special: The story is set with a troupe of seven British actors who are preparing for a production of the classic. Gray's character, Sir Selsdon Piddock, is flustered by the constant production headaches. "I play him cold and angry."