By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Apr 10, 2023 at 5:01 PM

If seeing "A Christmas Carol" is one of your holiday traditions, chances are you witnessed James Pickering’s acting. Pickering, a professional actor since 1973, has played the role of Scrooge more than 400 times in the historic Pabst Theater.

But here’s a few fun factoids you may not know about the actor. He was the narrator in the five-hour documentary “The Making of Milwaukee” as well as the spokesperson for Snap-On Tools and Milwaukee PBS. He was also the second place winner in OnMilwaukee’s Adult Spelling Bee in February – more on that later – and has performed works ranging from Shakespeare to Mamet to Ibsen to Larry Shue.

Currently, Pickering is co-starring in a dark dramedy by the fairly-new theater group The Constructivists, “I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard.” The show runs Saturday, April 15 through Saturday, April 29 at the Interchange Theater Co-Op (formally the 10th Street Theater), 628 N. 10th St.

To read more about the show that “pulls the audience into the middle of a deeply complicated relationship and digs deep into the eternal struggles of parents and children to find common ground” go here.

OnMilwaukee recently had a quick chat with Pickering and asked him a few questions, some more serious than others. 

OnMilwaukee: So exactly how many times did you play Scrooge?

James Pickering: 450 performances in three adaptations over the course of 11, non-consecutive seasons.

What affects, if any, did this have on you as a person?

I fell and stayed in love with the historic Pabst Theater.

If you could play any role, anywhere in the world what and where would it be?

I am honestly thrilled to play David in “I’m Gonna Pray for You So Hard” for The Constructivists. It's a really great show.

When you narrated "The Making of Milwaukee," what is an interesting tidbit you learned about Brew City that you didn’t know before?

That the city was constructed in a marsh.

As the second place winner in the OnMilwaukee Adult Spelling Bee, what is the word you misspelled and has it come up in your life since? 

“Feuilleton” pronounced “FAY-tan.” I spelled it p-h-a-e-t-o-n, “phaeton” pronounced “FAY-tan." Go figure.

You are on a desert island – somehow with refrigeration – and you can only have one kind of cheese for a decade. What kind would it be?

Smoked Gouda.

How would describe your upcoming show, “I’m Gonna Pray For You So Hard”?

It is intense. It is funny. It is sad. It is nasty. It is extremely timely and very well-written. And that it is produced by an emerging theater company, The Constructivists, who deserve to be more widely experienced by Milwaukee theater goers.

For tickets to "I'm Gonna Pray For You So Hard" go here.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.