The Barter Theatre in nearby Abingdon, Virginia is transforming into a Christmas wonderland leading up to its seasonal holiday plays. Barter Theatre will present three Christmas-themed stage productions throughout December, including “A Christmas Carol,” “Over The River and Through The Woods” and “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth.”
“Over the last 20 years, Christmas shows at the Barter have become a holiday tradition for our region,” said Nicholas Piper, director of “Over The River and Through The Woods.” “The town of Abingdon is a magical place at Christmas and we like to do shows that reflect the spirit of the season: a season of family, of fun and of hope!”
“A Christmas Carol” will be produced on Gilliam Stage at Barter Theatre now through Dec. 29. The famous play tells the traditional holiday tale of grumpy old Ebenezer Scrooge as he learns the true meaning of Christmas and how it feels to be happy again with the help of friendly — and not-so-friendly — ghosts. Directed by Richard Rose, “A Christmas Carol” stars Sean Maximo Campo as Scrooge, David Alford as Mr. Cratchit, Nick Koesters as Jacob Marely among many others.
“Barter’s production of this [“A Christmas Carol”] has always been among Barter’s top attended productions since we premiere this adaptation in 1996,” said Richard Rose, the producing artistic director of Barter Theatre and the director of “A Christmas Carol.” “Each year we give this wonderful play a new and fresh production that insure audiences that they will leave Barter Theatre in a joyful Christmas mood.”
The play “Over The River and Through the Woods” will be produced on Barter Stage II at Barter Theatre. Written by Joe DiPietro and directed by Nicholas Piper, this hilarious and heartwarming family comedy follows the story of Nick Cristano — portrayed by Andrew Hampton Livingston — who is a single 29-year-old who has just been offered his dream job in a town far away from his grandparents, who until now, have been very close to Nick.
The grandparents put their heads together and scheme ways to keep their grandson in town, resulting in laughs galore. Other cast members include: Michael Poisson as Frank Gianelli, Mary Lucy Bivins as Aida Gianelli, Rick McVey as Nunzio Cristano, Paris Bradstreet as Emma Cristano and Sarah Laughland as Caitlin O’Hare. “Over The River and Through The Woods” will have showtimes daily through Dec. 24.
“I think we can all relate to the difficulties of saying goodbye to family, and this show does it in a very funny and heartwarming way,” Piper said. “It is a play I know our audience will love and is perfect for the holidays as families gather together to celebrate the season.”
Lastly, “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” is being produced on Gilliam Stage by The Barter Players, Barter Theatre’s performance group for young audiences. This play is a new original work written by Barter’s Playwright-in-Residence Catherine Bush. “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” follows the story of seven-year-old Lively Lucy Lespree, who loses her two front teeth just before her big solo whistling performance for her school’s Christmas pageant. Despite losing the ability to whistle, Lucy is determined to keep her solo, but how? The whole family will enjoy this fun-filled production, but small children will find it particularly fun. Showtimes will be available every day until Dec. 18.
Tickets for all three plays are available online at bartertheatre.com. Prices vary depending on seating options.
Rose adequately summed up the Christmas experience in Abingdon, saying, “What better experience could you have during the holiday season than to see a show at Barter Theatre and take in the great boutique shopping and variety of great restaurants in quaint, historic Abingdon?”