Several Winston-Salem theater companies are preparing some holiday joy with both live and virtual shows that address current COVID-19 restrictions.
‘The Christmas Schooner’ and ‘Winter Wonder Wander’
Winston-Salem Theatre Alliance will greet the holidays with two seasonal programming choices. “The Christmas Schooner: A Musical” in November and the theater company’s own “Winter Wonder Wander” in December are both set for outdoor productions.
Theatre Alliance is also partnering with Parenting Path to help local children have happier holidays. At both shows, audience members can “adopt an angel” while attending.
“'The Christmas Schooner’ is based on actual events in turn-of-the-century Chicago,” Jamie Lawson, artistic director, said, “in which a sailor wanted to deliver a Christmas tree to a family member across the frigid waters of the Great Lakes. “The story is a heartwarming tale of love and sacrifice, something to which many people can relate. It’s a great event for the family.”
Lawson mentioned that the show will be outdoors behind Theater Alliance’s 1047 W. Northwest Blvd. location. “So, bundle up like you’re heading to a football game and join us for some socially-distanced live theater.”
Theatre Alliance’s ‘Winter Wonder Wander’ will be a walk-through, chiefly outdoors event at the company’s 650 W. Sixth St. location.
“Our ‘Wander’ is a series of vignettes of scenes that we feel certain attendees will recognize,” Lawson said. We feel that they should bring a sense of nostalgia and familiarity to this most unusual year.”
The “Winter Wander” will also include a thrift shop “for some quirky last-minute holiday stocking finds. We also hope a very special guest may be able to visit each evening for socially-distanced photos,” Lawson said.
N.C. Black Rep
"Nativity According to the Gospels"
The N.C. Black Repertory Company, meanwhile, is preparing a virtual version of Mabel P. Robinson’s "Nativity According to The Gospels, A Virtual Holiday Celebration." The production, which Robinson also directs and choreographs, had its premiere production on-stage last year.
“'Nativity’ is performed during a season that should be constantly celebrated,” Robinson said, “because it suggests continual hope, joy and unity amongst all people.
“Our production consists of very talented local artists, of various disciplines and ages,” she said.
“My creative team offers exciting and flawless sounds by Tony Gillion, festive and intriguing costumes by Frenchy LaVerne Slade, and scintillating lights and scenery by Dr. Artie Reese, all enveloped by the direction and choreography.”
Interested audiences can buy tickets to view the production online starting Dec. 1.
“Hopefully, all of these things together bring joyful, educational, colorful and stimulating entertainment for all,” Robinson said.
"Home for the Holidays: Christmas Greetings from Broadway"
Meanwhile, the Little Theatre of Winston-Salem is preparing music of the holiday season as found on Broadway to help lift holiday spirits.
In this cheerful virtual special, presented by a dozen of the most talented actors and singers in the region, Christmas songs and stories from Broadway musicals will embrace the spirit of the holiday.
“What is vitally important to me is the idea of bringing together members of the Little Theatre family, both performers and spectators, to celebrate the joy and camaraderie of the season,” Mark Pirolo, who is directing the production, said.
“We are crafting a show,” Pirolo added, “that we feel will allow us to maintain our connections to the community and continue to provide ‘theater’ to a world that is very much in need of its ability to delight and entertain.”
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