Capturing the magic of Christmas

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Published on December 06, 2013

Sandra (Hayley Amero), Caleb (Alex Gouchie) and Elizabeth (Caitlyn Rice) react to their father telling them he doesn’t think they can count on Santa this Christmas

Published on December 06, 2013

Caleb tells his sister Elizabeth he knows there is something magical about the stranger ‘Skip’.

Published on December 06, 2013

John (Dean Jones) tells his wife Pearl (Rhoda Hill) that the stranger‘s horse has antlers.

Published on December 06, 2013

With little more than parsnips and onions for a soup, everyone remarks about how wonderful the supper tastes.

Published on December 06, 2013

The stranger, Skip, assures John that Christmas will come and his family will be happy.

Published on December 06, 2013

‘Skip’ changes into Skippy, Santa’s elf and readies himself to transform the family’s meager Christmas.

Published on December 06, 2013

Caleb is convinced that Christmas is magic when he and his sisters see Skippy the elf.

Published on December 06, 2013

Skippy sprinkles magic powder on the children so they will go to sleep on Christmas Eve.

Published on December 06, 2013

Fletcher Wheelhouse (Kevin Gunn) reminisces about the magical time driving the Christmas mail in the 1950s.

Published on December 06, 2013

Audrey Chisholm (Ros McCue) tells the audience her skating story when she was kissed by a boy as a young girl in Bear River.

Published on December 06, 2013

The ladies on stage respond to the humor in a Christmas story from the 1950s.

Theriault play rekindles the true spirit of the season

By Karla Kelly



The true spirit of the Christmas season was celebrated and shared with responsive audiences at the heart warming presentation recently of Hal Theriault’s play, ‘The Joys of Christmas.’

Theriault’s two-part production was staged Nov. 29 and 30 at the Annapolis Basin Theatre in Cornwallis Park.

It took the audiences on a magical and nostalgic trip back to old-fashioned Christmases of the 1950s.

“A monologue of special Christmas memories recaptured the season as it used to be and should be today,” said Theriault. “A local choir treated audiences to a Christmas carol sing throughout the production.”

Theriault welcomed his regular cast members as well as those new to the stage including youngsters Alex Gouchie, Hayley Amero and Caitlyn Rice.

“I wanted to recognize Daren Mitchell who was valiant in taking on a role in the monologue so close to production,” said Theriault.

Among those who shared their favorite Christmas memories was Agnes (portrayed by Niki Cress) who reminisced about Willis Tibbits the village Santa when she was a little girl.

 Audrey Chisholm (Ros McCue) recalled getting her first kiss at the skating pond in Bear River when she was seven.

Fletcher Wheelhouse (Kevin Gunn) shared his Christmas experiences as the mail driver in North Range.

Gunn said it was a magical time driving the Christmas mail with the children excited for parcels and the older folks giving and receiving Christmas cards.

“For the children in that rural area Christmas was especially magical,” said Gunn. “There was a complete acceptance of Santa and all that it meant.”

There were Christmas concerts at school and church where the real Christmas story was told, he said.

Theriault said the play combines fantasy with a deeper, more important meaning of Christmas, one that comes from family, friends, relationships and sharing.

A stranger, who turns out to be Santa’s elf  Skippy, visits a poor family in Fundy Cove and helps the children recapture the spirit of Christmas.

Caleb (Alex Gouchie) said Christmas was all about a family that loved everybody and showed Christmas spirit all year.”

Skippy tells Santa that he found so much love in this Fundy Cove home where he was treated like a friend.

Through Skippy’s skilful questioning the children concentrated on not what they were getting for under the tree but the true meaning of Christmas,” said Theriault. “The elf then works his magic to help the family have far more than they ever expected for Christmas. “

Rhoda Hill who played Pearl, said she truly enjoyed being in ‘The Joys of Christmas’ and felt it helped get audiences into the Christmas spirit.

“I loved the warm feeling the play sends out since this family is content with having little just as long as they are together and love one another,”  said Hill.

“I believe Hal was getting across the fact that Christmas doesn’t have to be a big hurrah, and when we get too bogged down in that we forget just how important simply being together with family is.”

Organizations: Annapolis Basin Theatre

Geographic location: Cornwallis Park, Bear River, North Range

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