On the surface, it hardly seems to matter who directs the Guthrie Theater’s Christmas Carol. It’s Dickens, it’s Christmas, there’s Scrooge and some spooky ghosts... we’re good, right? Wrong. Over the course of her three years directing the holiday staple, Lauren Keating has brushed off the cobwebs, cut the cheesy gags, and uncovered the classic story’s true heart: Amid profound grief, we can still find hope by working for change and rejecting cynicism. It’s a vision that resonates in our alarming era, all the more so because Keating has noticeably increased the diversity onstage. The director also led last year’s charming Small Mouth Sounds at the Jungle Theater. That play was set at a meditation center where characters onstage struggled to remain silent; audiences, meanwhile, rocked with gratifyingly audible laughter.