A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES takes us to that legendary "Snowy Christmas Day" when songs are sung, cakes are gobbled up, ghost stories are whispered, and wild Indians roam the City Park! While the uncles, stuffed with pudding, nap and bellow on the parlor couch, audiences are taken back in time to remember the joys of being young, the strength of a community and the comfort of a loving family. Dylan Thomas' A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES features both traditional and contemporary holiday music and is the perfect way to celebrate with family and friends.
A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES began as a piece entitled Memories of Christmas for a BBC program in 1945, though it never aired. In 1947, Thomas expanded the poem and sold it to Hapers Bazaar. In 1952, during a trip to America, Thomas recorded his work and it became A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES. The story has seen numerous adaptations, including a television film, an animated version, and a stage adaptation.
Poet Dylan Thomas was born in Wales in 1914. At the age of 16, he left school to become a journalist for South Wales Daily Post. He left the position soon after to focus on his poetry. Among his many writings, his most famous poem, Do Not Go Gently Into That Good Night was published in 1952. A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES was recorded by Thomas that same year. He was also known for his lively readings and toured the Unites States four times in his life. Thomas passed away in 1953 at the age of 39, during his fourth and final tour.
Aaron Cromie makes his Walnut directorial debut with A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES. He was recently seen at the Walnut in Peter and the Starcatcher, which he also assistant directed. As a Philadelphia theatre artist he is a choreographer, musician, teacher, writer and a mask, puppet and sound designer. He has directed productions including Henry V with Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre, Man of La Mancha with Act II Playhouse, and Ondine with Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium. Cromie will also perform in the production, along with ensemble members Scott Greer, Maggie Lakis, Matthew Mastronardi and Amanda Jill Robinson.
The cast will provide the accompaniment for the music in the production, each playing multiple instruments. Woven through the stories of childhood memories, the cast will perform traditional carols, including God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen and Silent Night, and Welsh songs, including Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through The Night) and Calon Lân. Original songs for A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES were written by Charlotte Moore and include Ring Out the Bells! and Walking On the Snow.
Scott Greer returns to the Walnut, with previous performances including Lennie in Of Mice and Men, Thenardier in Les Misérables and The Big Bopper in The Buddy Holly Story. He is a 24 year veteran of the Philadelphia theatre community and has performed with numerous regional theatres. Maggie Lakis makes her Walnut debut with A CHILDS CHRISTMAS IN WALES. She has performed with Bucks County Playhouse, Arden Theatre Company, Wilma Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, 11th Hour Theatre Company and has performed Off-Broadway and in the 1st National Tour of Avenue Q. Amanda Jill Robinson has been seen at the Walnut in WST for Kids productions of A Christmas Carol and Miss Nelson Has A Field Day, with additional credits including Act II Playhouse, Theater at Monmouth, 11th Hour Theatre Company, The Greenfield Collective and Nightcap Cabaret. Matthew Mastronardi joins the cast as both performer and Music and Vocal Director. Mastronardi was most recently on Walnuts stage in Peter and the Starcatcher. Regional credits include Arden Theatre Company, Act II Playhouse, 11th Hour Theatre Company, Peoples Light and Theatre, Media Theatre and Shakespeare in Clark Park.
A cozy home, filled with the warmth of family and shared memories during the holidays, will be created by Set Designer Scott Groh, making his Walnut debut with this production. Recently, Groh has designed James and the Giant Peach, Winnie the Pooh and Peter and the Starcatcher at Zach Theatre in Austin Texas. Sasha Anistratova joins Groh as Lighting Designer, also making her Walnut debut. Costume Designer Kayla Speedy returns to the Walnut (A Christmas Carol, The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fair(l)y (stoopid) Tales) as well as Sound Designer John Kolbinski (Always Patsy Cline).
Season sponsor for the 2016-2017 Independence Studio on 3 Season is The Independence Foundation. Media season sponsors are Philly Weekly and WRTI Radio. Tickets are $35-$40 and are now available at 215-574-3550 or 800-982-2787. Tickets are also available at walnutstreettheatre.org or Ticketmaster.com.