Your Christmas List

November 27, 2017

Or:  Why you should give the gift of live art this Holiday Season!



It’s Cyber Monday, and I have a list of great Christmas presents that you can purchase right from your computer chairs!  And guess what...they are all THEATRE! Surprise!!!


Ok, so clearly, I’ve got an angle here, but let’s be honest...everybody’s budget is limited, so why should you buy live art this year?


1. Material items break, get lost, and wear out, but the memory of an artistic experience lasts forever.  

Do you remember the first holiday performance that you ever attended? I do! There was a performance of The Nutcracker at Gettysburg College that my parents brought me to when I was in the first grade. I will never forget how I felt watching that magical tree grow. So why not take your kid to a production of The Nutcracker?


Walltown says, "Walltown Children’s Theatre returns to the PSI Theater on December 1-3, 2017 with the Durham Nutcracker. Experience our musical re-imagining of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker-- a refreshing twist on this holiday classic. With a highly diverse cast, this adaptation tells the story of two rival dancers competing for the part of Clara. The production features over 50 children and local artists promoting tolerance and inclusion."

Walltown Children’s Theatre’s Durham Nutcracker: A Re-Imagined Production of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Tickets HERE.


2. An artistic performance can give you insight into someone else’s lived experience.

We are witnessing what feels like a never-ending deluge of fear and other-ness this year, and that’s not very merry. I bet some of your Thanksgiving dinners were tense, as people avoided talk of politics and the inherent racism, sexism, and bigotry in our current society. How do we change the minds and hearts of the people that we love, but struggle to talk to? Is that Uncle who voted for Trump bugging the heck out of you with his inability to empathize? Donate in his name to Monet Marshall’s “Buy My Soul and Call it Art” project:

Monet says, "On January 27th, Buy My Soul And Call It Art, a performance art experience, will premiere in Durham, North Carolina. With a team of over 30 local artists, this immersive exhibition will explore the relationship between Black performance and mainstream arts spaces, the emotional labor of Black artists, the importance of Black joy and the connection between the slave market and the arts market."


Perhaps your uncle will actually go to Monet’s performance in January. Perhaps he’ll change his mind about something. Perhaps he’ll be royally pissed off. Perhaps you’re cool with all of those outcomes.

Buy My Soul And Call It Art video and fundraiser HERE.


3. A live artistic experience is something that you can share.

I mean, sure, you could present your daughter with an electric toothbrush, but you can't share it...that’s just gross. But when you give the gift of live art, you’re almost EXPECTED to go with the receiver.  The two of you sit together in a dark room and experience a story that could move or change you both, and will certainly give you something to talk about together.  I’d be silly not to mention the Women’s Theatre Festival’s own show here, so here goes!  WTF is putting on a production of Little Women that is also a holiday tea!  Bring your son or daughter, or heck, your whole family to a production that takes Louisa May Alcott's classic tale about strong women and updates it to be diverse and inclusive.

Local critic Dustin Britt said, “A racially diverse cast is resulting in a racially diverse audience–something welcome in this area. More than any other local work, this show gives the young girls of the triangle an opportunity to see themselves portrayed–realistically and respectfully–on stage.”  

Little Women by Lorelei Lemon at Sonorous Road Theatre, Nov. 30-Dec. 3, matinees and evenings available. Buy your tickets HERE.


4. A live artistic experience is the ultimate way to buy local.

There are certain theatre companies that pay their artists and hire almost exclusively locally. Burning Coal Theatre Company and Sonorous Road Theatre are two of them, and both of them have upcoming holiday shows. Both employ mostly local artists, actors, directors, designers, and technicians, so when you spend your holiday dimes in these locations, they go to directly to people in your community and stay there! Check out Peter Pan & Wendy  or The Gift of the Magi!


Burning Coal says,"A young girl feels alone in the world.  Can a boy who never grew up help her to discover her best self?  Or will he lead her straight into the clutches … of Hook!? "

Peter Pan & Wendy adapted by Lillian White and the Burning Coal Theatre November 30 – December 17, 2017 Tickets HERE.


Sonorous Road says they are, "proud to present this original adaptation of The Gift of the Magi, O. Henry's classic tale of Jim and Della, a young couple in search of the perfect gifts for each other for Christmas.This adaptation will feature the story that you love set in 1920's New York featuring immersive and interactive elements, a speakeasy with live music, and more! Bring the family (recommended for ages 12 and up) and join us for a new holiday tradition!"

The Gift of the Magi Fri, Dec 8, 2017, 7:00 p.m. - Sat, Dec 23 2017, 10:00 p.m. Tickets HERE


Sooooooo, if you buy tickets to live art this holiday season, then for $15-25, you could buy a memory that never fades, a conversation about what’s important in our world, a shared experience, and a local sponsorship. Or you could just get your loved ones socks. I hear they cost about the same.





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