I was at a workshop last week for my new Christmas play ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas, which was commissioned by Adventure Theatre in Bethesda, MD. The story is about a girl named Emily who goes on an adventure with Amos the Mouse to the North Pole to save Christmas. It seems that a former elf—who once tried to sell Santa’s sleigh to Wal-Mart and was demoted--is trying to take his revenge by stealing the Naughty and Nice list. The play is being directed by Jerry Whiddon who, as you probably know, is one of the best directors in America. The cast includes Gary Sloan, Associate Professor of Drama at Catholic University, as Sir Guy of Gisbourne, the former elf. I know first hand what he can do on stage because I saw his Hamlet many years ago at the Shakespeare Theatre. (He was one of the best Hamlets I've ever seen.) The rest of the cast includes Rex Daugherty, as Amos the Mouse; Rachel Zampelli as Calliope the Elf; Emily Levey as the little girl; and Alex Perez as Mulch the peasant - and he doubles as Santa Claus. I also had an opportunity to see the costume designs by Chelsey Schuller for the first time, and as you can see, they are truly amazing. It’s terrific working at Adventure Theatre - Michael Bobbitt runs it like a swiss watch. The theatre is getting ready to open their next show, Lily’s Purple Plastic Purse, and they did a run-through next door to our workshop. The noise from their room was crazy, so we shouted our lines back. If theatre doesn't have an element of play in it, it's not theatre. Right?
Pictured Above: Costume design for the character of Emily by Chelsey Schuller