December 11, 2018
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Acadia Community Theater presents ‘A Christmas Story’

Community Author: Stephanie Clement
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StephanieClement | BDN
StephanieClement | BDN

MOUNT DESERT ISLAND — Who hasn’t yearned for that one magical Christmas gift — the one that might not make sense to anyone else, but fulfills all your fantasies? In the classic tale, “A Christmas Story,” the lead character Ralphie spends his time scheming to get a “Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time” despite the dire warnings that he’ll “shoot his eye out” from his parents, teacher, and even the department store Santa. A familiar tale, immortalized in the 1983 film starring Peter Billingsley, Ralphie and his shenanigans will be brought to MDI for the holiday season.

Acadia Community Theater will perform “A Christmas Story” at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 2,  at The Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. The next weekend, the show will move to the 1932 Criterion Theatre in Bar Harbor for performances at 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8.

The play is by Philip Grecian, based upon the 1983 Turner Entertainment Co. movie, A Christmas Story, distributed by Warner Bros. and written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark. It’s also based on Jean Shepherd’s work, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash. ACT’s show will have all the familiar elements of the classic Christmas tale including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; the soft glow of electric sex in the window; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios, and more.

Young Ralphie will be played by ACT veteran Hayden Braun, and Tucker Atwood narrates the story as adult Ralphie. Ralphie’s family includes Matt Cornish as the father, Jamie Creed as the mother, Bodie Tapley as younger brother Randy, and Molly Dillon as Ralph’s twin sister Ronnie. Ralphie’s classmates include Harlan Mahoney as Schwartz, Adam Losquadro as Flick, Cassielyn Willis as Ester Jane, and Sophia Taylor as Helen. Noah Keeley will play the taunting villain, Scut Farkas. The group is rounded out by a cast of 25 school children, Angel Hochman as their teacher, and Mark Carignan as Higbee Department Store’s Santa.

The show is directed by ACT Board Member, Doug VanGorder and produced by ACT Board Member, Heather Dillon. Seth Clarke is serving as Stage Manager, and ACT Board Member, Matt Hochman, is Technical Director and also appears in several cameo roles in the show. Jaylene Roths has returned to lead the incredible costuming team of Lori Jordan and Geneva Langley. The costumes were designed to reflect the play’s setting in the Midwest in the 1940’s.

Doug VanGorder, Director, stated, “We’ve had a terrific time rehearsing for the show and laughing at the familiar scenes.” VanGorder’s son, Kendrew, played “Ralphie” in Acadia Community Theater’s 2011 production of the play. “It’s a family-friendly play that everyone will relate to. We hope you’ll come join us in Hohman, Indiana to see if Ralphie really does shoot his eye out!”

Tickets are $10/adult and $8 for students, seniors, and active military. Tickets for children (ages 2-12) are $6 each, and children under age 2 are free. General seating tickets for the Neighborhood House performances will be available by cash or check at the door or in advance with a fee at www.acadiacommunitytheater.net. Tickets for the performances at the Criterion Theatre will be available at the door or in advance with a fee at www.criteriontheatre.org. Reserved seating in the Criterion Theatre balcony is also available for an extra $2.00/ticket. For more information, contact acadiacommunitytheater@gmail.com.

About Acadia Community Theater:

Acadia Community Theater, or ACT, seeks to enrich the lives of individuals, families, and the community by encouraging growth and expression in theater arts and by providing live performances on and around Mount Desert Island.  Originally formed as the “After School Players” in 1994, the group was later renamed the Union 98 Teachers’ Theater and then became the IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization Acadia Community Theater in 2000. Each year, the organization stages a spring musical and a fall play, among other activities, providing opportunities for young people and their families to participate in and enjoy theater together.

Contact: Heather Dillon, 207-460-9328 or acadiacommunitytheater@gmail.com