By Marilyn Delk
The holiday season is upon us, with all of its hoopla demanding our time and attention. While churches and other religious organizations strive mightily to remind us of “the reason for the season,” the stress of meeting our own demands as well as the expectations of others can sometimes seem overwhelming. Fortunately, I have a suggestion for a delightful respite from the turmoil that can accompany this merry season while also celebrating the joy and wonder of it all: Take your whole family to Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Sunday, Dec. 11 when Darke County Center for the Arts will present Virginia Repertory Theatre’s production of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. You will re-discover the intrinsic delight underpinning the legendary holiday favorite and add comfort to the whirlwind of activity surrounding the Christmas season; the show starts at 2 p.m..
The show is, of course, inspired by Clement Moore’s timeless poem A Visit from St. Nicholas, but takes a close look at the beloved tale’s author as he struggles to write his annual family Christmas poem. Helped by a couple of dancing mice as well as his Dutch gardener Kris Kringle and inspired by the loving, joyous images all around him in his own home, Moore’s poetic fortunes take a magical turn as the mysteries of the spirit of Christmas are lovingly explored.
‘Twas the Night Before Christmas is set in 1822, accurately revealing nineteenth century lifestyles to youngsters who won’t realize they are absorbing American history while enjoying the musical play. Elijah Daniel Williams will be making his Virginia Rep debut as Clement Moore; the cast also includes Kelis Herriott who is in her second year with the theatre company, having made her touring debut last season as Harriet Tubman in Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, and Washington, D.C.-based actress, singer, and dancer Emma Cooley. Other cast members are William Cardozo as Kris Kringle and Abby McLaughlin, whose favorite role in other productions is as Shrek’s Princess Fiona.
This is the first of DCCA’s 2022-2023 Family Theatre season presentations, which brings live theatre to youngsters and their families at a low cost. Tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal will bring Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ugly Duckling from Leeds, U.K. to Greenville’s St. Clair Memorial Hall on Sunday, February 19, and on Sunday, March 26, local audiences will be treated to Bay Area Children’s Theatre’s Llama Llama—LIVE!, the world premiere of a musical based on the bestselling books by Anna Dewdney about everyone’s favorite little Llama. Tickets to each show are just $5; season tickets provide an even better bargain with admission to all three shows costing only $12!
Season tickets are available by contacting DCCA on-line at www.DarkeCountyArts.org, by calling 937-547-0908, by mail at P.O. Box 718 Greenville, OH 45331, or by making an appointment to visit DCCA’s office on the third floor of Greenville Public Library during regular office hours on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Tickets for ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas may also be purchased at the front desk of Greenville Public Library, and are on sale at Readmore’s Hallmark in downtown Greenville, as well as Corner Cupboard in Union City and Versailles Public Library.