Just four days before the Family Christmas Show opened, the Off Pitt Street Theater Company received news of the state’s new COVID-19 occupancy restrictions. Under the new protocols, the planned show could not have an audience and only 13 people would be allowed in the theater building at a time.
“Instead of throwing away or postponing months of preparation, the Off Pitt Street Theater Company has decided to change course and produce the fifth annual Family Christmas Show as an online film with two releases,” said the director Dawn Ziviello.
Originally, the play had two different casts to allow each actor to play a lead role. Each version of the film will feature a different cast.
The original show dates became the shooting dates for the production shoot.
“It won’t just be a stationary front-of-the-stage camera to film the play, it’s designed and produced like a real movie,” Ziviello said. “Audiences will be able to enjoy close-ups, camera angles, special effects and audio just like in a real movie.”
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” is an original screenplay written by Ziviello.
A famous poem of the same title written by Welsh poet Dylan Thomas inspired the play.
The story is a dream landscape in which the adult narrator Dylan Thomas remembers all the best moments of all of his childhood Christmases as an endearing all-in-one memory.
In this tale, the story takes audiences back to the week before Christmas. Audiences will be able to meet and learn to love every person from Thomas’ childhood as they look forward to Christmas Day.
“We wanted to put on a show filled with childhood joy and wonder,” Ziviello said. “Something that would remind us of our own childhood Christmases and that the most precious gifts don’t come in boxes.”
Michael and Jade Corle of Corleation, Ziviello’s longtime friends and business partners designed the cinematography and post-production for the film.
“We were in a really unique situation as Michael and I had taught short film production together for many years as part of the Heritage Project and the 21st Century After-school program,” Ziviello said. “We work very well together and are able to generate great content in a relatively short period of time. “
The film will be released on Christmas Eve, giving the team two weeks of post-production.
“It’s not a lot of time as anyone who has worked with film editing can tell you,” Ziviello said. “While they don’t have the staff, money, and equipment that great theater companies can rely on, they have the courage, determination, experience, and the added motivation not to want to to disappoint this young and talented cast who have worked tirelessly to bring this lovely story to life.
Customers wishing to access the film when it airs on Christmas Eve at 7 p.m., and at any time thereafter, can donate any amount by visiting the OPS website at www.OffPittStreet.com. They can also email OPS at [email protected], by calling or texting 814-310-1987, or by sending a donation along with a valid email address to: Off Street Productions , 110 West Pitt Street, STE 2.
OPS after this production, will be closed until the protocols are relaxed again. Donating to see the Christmas movie will help ensure the OPS survives the pandemic.