Throughout the East End, actors are busy burnishing familiar stories of the holiday season to present to the community in the upcoming weeks.
From a festive series of holiday stories from the actors of the Hampton Theatre Company to the telling of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory” to a brand new radio play version of “A Christmas Carol” being staged both in Southampton and Mattituck, there are plenty of opportunities to get into the holiday spirit with the boards-treaders of our spit of the island.
HTC’s “Joy to the World”
The Hampton Theatre Company in Quogue is presenting two festive evenings and one matinee performance of holiday stories by Arthur Conan Doyle, Isaac Bashevis Singer, O. Henry and other celebrated writers for one weekend only, Dec. 9 to 11.
Holiday music will be played for the half hour before the readings begin, and in transitions between selections from the different authors.
Performances will be at 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9; at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 11.
The pieces to be read and dramatized by members of the company were chosen because they capture the humor and the warmth, the joys and sorrows of our common humanity, however different our holiday traditions may be.
Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson have the holiday season as a backdrop for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.”
The fortunes of Isaac Bashevis Singer’s “Zlateh the Goat” take a turn in the days leading up to Hanukkah.
The evening also includes the surreal firsthand story of the Christmas Truce in the trenches of World War I; O. Henry’s classic, “The Gift of the Magi,” and, from the pages of The New York Sun in 1897, “Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus.”
HTC veteran actors who will be reading include Matthew Conlon, James Ewing, Terrance Fiore, Amanda Griemsmann, Sarah Hunnewell, Diana Marbury, Joe Pallister, Ben Schnickel and Tristan Vaughan.
Sarah Hunnewell and James Ewing direct.
Theatergoers are also invited to visit the Quogue Triangle of shops and the Quogue Gallery down the block from the theater at 44 Quogue Street for some Holiday Cheese and Cheer offered in the spirit of the season prior to each performance.
Tickets to “Joy to the World” are free for HTC subscribers, $15 for all adults, and $5 for students 21 and under and are available at www.hamptontheatre.org or by calling 1.866.811.4111.
Our Fabulous Variety Show’s “New Christmas Carol”
The story follows the journey of Scrooge’s daughter, Neeza, at Dickens High as she decides how important her reputation is and the kinds of people she decides to surround herself with. Scrooge is also the Dickens High principal, while Barbara Cratchit returns as the Social Studies teacher. The play visits Neeza’s past, present and her future, where the ominous Ghosts of Christmas Yet to Come return and deliver some gloomy news.
The show includes old favorites such as Jacob Marley McFly, the fabulous Ghost of 80s Past; the Cratchit children; Fan, the Ghost of Christmas Present; Scrooge’s sister and more.
Center Stage’s “A Christmas Carol”
Center Stage at the Southampton Cultural Center is adding a new production of playwright Joe Landry’s radio play version of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to their season the this coming weekend.
“A Christmas Carol,” long traditionally staged during the holiday season at theaters throughout the country, is a production East Enders would formerly have to travel to see.
Center Stage director Michael Disher is hoping to bring in a larger audience by expanding his theater’s repertoire of Christmas productions.
Performances of “A Christmas Carol” will be Friday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3 at 2, 5 and 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 4 at 2 and 5 p.m.
More details about Center Stage’s production are online here.
“A Christmas Memory” at Peconic Landing
Peconic Landing in Greenport is hosting a reading of Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory,” adapted and presented by Jere Jacobs and Thomas DeWolfe on Sunday, Dec. 4 at 3 p.m.
Tickets are free to all, but attendees are encouraged to register online here.
This largely autobiographical story, which takes place in the 1930s, describes a period in the lives of the seven-year-old narrator and a much older distant cousin and best friend.
A classic that touches on friendship and the joy of giving, “A Christmas Memory” has been broadcast, recorded, filmed, and staged multiple times in award-winning productions.
NFCT’s “A Christmas Carol” and Variety Show
This year’s holiday production at the North Fork Community Theatre is also Joe Landry’s radio play of “A Christmas Carol.” Performances will be held Saturday, Dec. 10 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2:30 p.m.
The actors, who will each play multiple characters, are Mike Hipp, Kimet Speed, Peggy Ashton Straub, Phil Wilcox and Rusty Kransky as Scrooge.
Tickets are $20 and available at the door or at brownpapertickets.com/event/2598479.
The NFCT’s annual Variety Show will take the stage in early January, filled with magic, dance, comedy sketches, instrumental music, dramatic readings and scenes.
Performances will be held at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 6 and 7, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 8. All Variety Show proceeds go to the NFCT scholarship fund for local high school seniors.