Christmas is coming to the Liberty Center Association for the Arts this weekend with a play that offers something for everyone, literally.
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)” will be performed Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Hayden Liberty Center with a small cast of just three actors, Brad Henderson, Megan Drianis and Chelsea Turner. The show is led by director Rylan Swank, who is a self-professed fan of everything Christmas; he’d direct a Christmas show every year if he could, he said.
“It starts with three actors who are putting on the play ‘Christmas Carol’ for the umpteenth time and two of them decide they are done doing ‘A Christmas Carol, they can’t do it again. They’re just over it,” Swank said of the show. “They then proceed to throw together a real fast modge-podge of every Christmas story ever told, and then some, including Rudolph, Frosty the Snowman, the Grinch, Gift of the Magi, all sorts of stuff as well as giving some info on some cultural holiday stuff from around the world.”
As the vocal music teacher at Smith-Cotton Junior High, Swank is no stranger to directing theater productions but he is new to the Liberty Center. “Every Christmas Story” marks his Liberty Center debut, and he noted most of the cast is new to Liberty Center as well. He said it has been a fun change working with adult actors rather than students.
“It gives us the opportunity to be a lot more collaborative, which is fun,” Swank said of the small cast. “We bounce ideas off each other.”
With such a small cast, stage manager Casey Lim and the rest of the technical crew play a large role with the show, Swank said, making sure lights and various sounds and music are on cue along with having the dozens of props and costume changes ready for the actors backstage.
There are tons of Christmas-related stories crammed into the two-act play, some that are short monologues and others that are longer involving all three actors reenacting beloved Christmas tales. There’s even some audience participation, but fair warning, the actors aren’t great with names and tend to call everyone Cindy.
Swank said he is partial to the show’s Rudolph scene, although he really enjoys the entire play.
“I love the zany energy, it’s lots of fun,” he said. “It’s a big, fun Christmas show.”
“Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)” will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 and 14 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 15 at the Liberty Center, 111 W. Fifth St. The show is recommended for ages 10 and older. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors and $8 for students. Tickets can be purchased at libertycentersedalia.com or at the box office.