Nov 282012

Author: John Sheesley

There is no better gift than a genuine Red Rider BB gun. For everything from leg lamps to stolen turkeys, head to the University Center for the Arts. This holiday the UCA is presenting A Christmas Story – a play by Philip Grecian based upon the 1983 film of the same title. The play stays close to the original film, but has some adaptations and modifications.

“You can do different things in live theater than you can do in movies. The movie has so many different locations and quick shots and we had to work around that,” said Tim Werth, a junior economics and theater major who plays the Old Man. “It definitely is different but I feel like it lives up to the movie, or at least gives people a twist.”

The most iconic parts of the story are present, and create a similar atmosphere to that of the film while presenting the story in a different way.

“The audience will recognize many of their favorite moments from the film, such as Ralphie’s obsession with the official legendary Red Ryder BB gun everyone is sure he’ll use to ‘shoot his eye out’– as well as his translation of Little Orphan Annie’s secret code after receiving his mail order decoder pin,” said Laura Jones, the production’s stage director, in a press release. “And of course, when his father wins the infamous leg lamp, much to his mother’s chagrin, and not to mention the theft of the turkey by the Bumpus’ hounds who live next door.”

The audience who filled the house on opening night received the play warmly, seeing the actors offstage with a rousing ovation.

“Its hard to compare it to the movie, because the movie is one of my favorite movies. It would have been a good play, to me, without the movie, but it was hard for it to live up to the expectations of the movie,” freshman history major Fisher Ankney said.“My favorite part was when he was with Red Rider fending off Black Bart and the bandits.”

The cast, except for the character of adult Ralphie who is physically represented by guest artist and CSU theatre alumnus James Burns, is made up of CSU students and youth who have participated in CSU’s summer children’s theatre program, ‘Kids Do It All.’

“The adult cast has been preparing for about three and a half weeks and the kids have been in a class and they’ve been working for almost two months,” Werth said. “This is one of the biggest shows I’ve been a part of and the hardest part for me was keeping track of all the props and hand things and all the tiny details.”

Overall, the play has been a great success, allowing the actors to interpret and embody their characters.

“It’s truly been exciting to watch these now-classic characters be re-enacted by our cast of college students and child actors from the community,” said Jones in a press release. “They have all both embraced traditional interpretations and created their own personal ‘takes’ on the characters.”

Whether you are a die hard fan of this holiday classic or experiencing it now for the first time, this is the show to see this holiday season.

“I absolutely loved it, but I didn’t see the movie, so there was really no expectation,” said freshman Tiffeny Phair. “The kids were absolutely amazing and so cute and talkative. My favorite part is the soap scene, that was classic.”

A Christmas Story performance dates:
Nightly: Nov. 15, 16, 17, 23, 24, 29, 30, Dec. 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15 at 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: Nov. 18, 25, Dec. 2, 9 at 2 p.m.

More info at


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