For the entire 36-year history of the Goodman's annual production of A Christmas Carol, the lights were designed by Bob Christen. Christen was the Goodman's resident lighting designer and a fixture at the leading Chicago theater since he was hired as a stage electrician, just out of college at the University of Wisconsin, in 1972.
Although a remarkable achievement, Christen's work on A Christmas Carol was only a fraction of his quietly formidable career as a lighting designer and master electrician at the Goodman, where he also designed some of the most famous productions in Chicago theater history, including the world premiere of American Buffalo by David Mamet in 1975 and Mamet's A Life in the Theatre in 1977; Marvin's Room by the late Scott McPherson, a production that traveled to New York and London; and Wings, based on the play by Arthur Kopit.
Christen also worked at many other theaters throughout Chicago and the nation, including the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Court Theatre, Chicago Opera Theatre and Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, where he was a major figure during the early years of that dance company and was instrumental in raising the production values during its formative seasons. On Broadway, Christen was the lighting designer for The Song of Jacob Zulu.