Rosebud Theatre offers up the classic A Christmas Story
by Laureen F. Guenther
A Christmas Story, a play by Philip Grecian, opens at Rosebud Theatre, November 1, playing until December 22.
The story, based on the classic 1983 movie, centers on Ralphie, growing up in the 1950s. His heart is set on getting a BB gun for Christmas.
Young Ralphie is played by Rebbekah Ogden Braun. Middle-aged Ralphie, who’s narrating the story of his most memorable childhood Christmas, is played by Aaron Krogman.
“It’s crazy and goofy and in some ways celebrates all the kitchiness of Christmas and pokes fun at it too,” Krogman says. “And it actually offers some heart in the end.”
“For the most part, Christmases don’t meet our expectations. It’s such a hype thing,” he says. “This story definitely has that arc, that high expectation. In the end, what you really want isn’t the thing you thought you really wanted.”
Nathan Schmidt plays the role of Ralphie’s dad, who wins a tacky leg lamp that his wife despises. Glenda Warkentin plays his wife.
Five Rosebud School of the Arts (RSA) students play Ralphie’s classmates. Geordie Cowan, an RSA grad, plays the class bully.
Ralphie’s younger brother Randy is played by a community member, young Silas Winters.
“He is such a card,” Krogman says. “He’s hilarious. There’s a bit in the show where Randy is always missing. He’s hiding.”
That’s just like Silas, Krogman says. “Many times, we’re like, ‘Where’s Silas? He’s behind the piano against the wall.’ That’s all day long with Silas. He’s a total goofball. Silas is a Randy, which is a tonne of fun. He’s cracking us up all day. He’s going to be the show-stopper.”
Nearly all cast and crew members are students or graduates of RSA. Ogden Braun is an RSA student. Krogman is an RSA graduate and has recently joined the RSA faculty. Nathan Schmidt and Glenda Warkentin are also graduates and faculty members. Paul Muir, the play’s director, is RSA’s education director.
“It’s really cool when we can do a show where everyone in the show has gone through the (RSA) program, and for audiences to get to see that,” Krogman says. “They’ve been coming over the years and investing in what happens in Rosebud, and this is a real celebration of the education on offer here.”
“It’s cool that Paul Muir is directing it, as the education director. He’s seen so many of these (students grow) and is seeing (them) now, shepherding students through the program.”
Though the play is “crazy funny”, Krogman says, it has heart.
“Paul (Muir, director) is really wanting to root it into our authentic selves in terms of these situations and characters … I think it rings true. … It sits in where our values are.”
He says this play will help usher in Christmas for Rosebud audiences.
“As the main storyteller, I get to spend an hour and a half telling our audience about my favourite moments, my highlights of Christmas,” Krogman says. “And just like any storytelling does, when you get to sit and hear someone remember for you what it is that they love, what it is that they remember as being funny or crazy or just sensational, that can’t help but conjure up your own memories.”
“That’s (what) I hope is happening in the homes of our audience members. And I hope it triggers that. I wish we could, one at a time, have each audience member tell their favourite memories of Christmas. I hope that happens in the car rides home (after the show).”
“I can’t think of anything that would bring Christmas up more than that.”
A Christmas Story plays in Rosebud Theatre’s Opera House November 1 to December 22. Tickets can be purchased with or without a meal. Get tickets and more information at rosebudtheatre.com or 1-800-267-7553.