BAR HARBOR – Audiences will be transported to another location and time when Acadia Community Theater (ACT) brings a holiday classic to the stage on December 1st.
That place and time is the Midwest in the 1940s. The main character: a nine year old boy. The central drama is wanting a BB gun for Christmas. And according to director Douglas VanGorder, a lucky raffle winner will take home a special moment after the final show.
For fans of the 1983 film “A Christmas Story,“These details are very familiar. The screenplay is based on the memoir of comedian Jean Shepherd.
“It’s a funny story about a Midwestern boy who takes care of his family, friends and a cranky Santa in the days leading up to Christmas,” VanGorder explained.
The play stays true to the movie version, but “with a few small changes,” VanGorder hinted. He said the retained elements of the film include “the Red Ryder BB pistol, the frozen tongue on the pole and the leg lamp.”
As for the leg lamp, VanGorder said the prop will be raffled off after production to support ACT.
“We have a great cast,” he said, “with everyone really embracing their character.”
Hayden Braun stars as Ralphie, with Tucker Atwood playing his old version. Bodie Tapley is her brother Randy and Molly Dillon plays her sister Ronnie. Ralphie’s Mother and “Old Man” are played by Jamie Creed and Matt Cornish. Friends Schwartz and Flick are Harlan Mahoney and Adam Loquasdro; with Noah Keeley as Scout Farkas, the neighborhood bully. Angel Hochman returns to the stage after many years behind the scenes, playing Ralphie’s teacher.
Jaylene Roths is in charge of the costumes, tasked with recreating an “authentic 1940s look,” VanGorder said. Heather Chute Dillon is Producer, Seth Clarke is Stage Manager and Matt Hochman is Technical Director.
VanGorder is a first-time director, although he’s not a newcomer to the theater.
“I did everything else, from the stage to the positions of producer, stage manager, set builder and playing in the pit orchestra,” he said. “It was a fun experience for me as a first attempt at directing.”
Performances are scheduled for December 1 at 7 p.m. and December 2 at 2 p.m. at Neighborhood House in Northeast Harbor. The following weekend’s performances will take place at the Criterion in Bar Harbor and take place on December 7 at 7 p.m. and December 8 at 11 a.m. Tickets are available at the door or online: $ 10 for adults, $ 8 for students / seniors / serving military, and $ 6 for children.