Theatre to Tell Old Christmas Stories to New Audiences
By Joe Bachman
The Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre invites you to join them this week for a celebration of Christmas.
The original script family show, written by Director Ellen Roeseler, incorporates beloved Christmas stories and carols expressed in a unique way for ‘Christmas Stories That Never Grow Old’. This includes musical numbers, skits, and dance.
“It’s a challenge, but it’s been a lot of fun,” said Stage Director Lucy Runnells, who cites this as her first show in the position. “These are very traditional and old stories, but people either don’t know about some of them, or never hear them anymore.”
The cast is made up of 33 men, woman and children, and involves all experience levels. Roeseler, who was involved in the very first WRCT show in 1975, and has directed dozens of plays since then. With such a diverse age group, there have been some fun and interesting challenges that come with it.
“With 33 people you have that many times the questions, and the costumes — everything you can think of is multiplied by that many people,” said Roeseler. “Everybody here is so willing and cooperative and excited.”
The enthusiasm is something that often goes recognized in these productions, as many involved aren’t doing so at a professional level, but the need to perform, and perform well overtakes any potential stage stumbles. The benefits at any age level of performance, according to Roeseler, are endless.
“You get to be someone else,” said Roeseler. “It really helps you grow in so many ways — you are working with people that would usually never meet, and you get to meet these really diverse personalities and work together to achieve a goal.”
The play will include 10 different stories told through skits, song and dance, and will keep a theme of Christmas, and audience members should expect no less.
“I hope this brings memories for some people, and if not, they will be introduced to a new story,” said Roeseler. “They’ll see dance, they’ll see acting — the idea is that it’s a big celebration of Christmas.”
‘Christmas Stories That Never Grow Old’ opens this weekend, Dec. 9 and 10, and Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 15-18 at the Wisconsin Rapids Community Theatre.