MONROE, Ga. – On Stage Walton, Monroe’s community theater, presents “The ReGifters,” a family Christmas comey about a “regifting” gone horribly wrong, in eight performances from Dec. 6-22.
The play follows the misadventures of a couple who decide to “regift” a not-so-great Christmas present then find out it’s worth a fortune. They’re shocked to discover they’re not the only ones to rewrap the present. In the mad pursuit to reclaim the gift, everyone who gave it learns about friendship, true wealth and the Christmas spirit.
Performances are at 8 p.m. on Dec. 6, 7, 13, 14, 20 & 21. Sunday matinees will be staged Dec. 15 and 22 at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $20 and are available beginning Nov. 22 at www.onstagewalton.org or at Carmichael’s Drugs, 150 MLK Blvd. in Monroe. Carmichael’s accepts only cash and checks. Online purchases are by credit card only. Recent On Stage productions have sold out quickly.
The play, written by Robert Lynn and first produced in 2006, is directed by Amy Miller of Athens, who has directed productions at numerous regional theaters, including the Town & Gown Players in Athens. She has performed in two On Stage productions: “Into the Woods” and “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”
Miller is delighted to direct a non-traditional Christmas play that few people have seen. “It’s incredibly special to bring audiences something they’ve never seen or heard of before, especially at the holidays,” she said. “This is an entirely original story so there are no preconceived ideas about how it should be done or what the characters should be like. That’s a rare opportunity. We’ve also added a unique element to our production: some young carolers are going to appear to sing some rewritten holiday classics that will help move the story along.”
While it examines the practice of “regifting,” the play also addresses the commercialization of Christmas and difficult family relationships. “People are going to recognize themselves,” Miller said. “Plus the script manages to be clever and witty while remaining warm-hearted. It’ll be a new experience that manages to feel like a comfortable friend.”
The cast features Murray Weed and Vicki Wrobel as Loras and Bridget Henshaw; Jason Baird and Kerri Brooks as Tom and Mary Mulligan; Jake Strength and Tara Runyon as Jeff and Lauren Cunningham and Paige Hood as Mrs. Cunningham; and Christopher Heraghty and Ragan Weese as Kurt and Katie Weiss. The Young Actor Ensemble includes Natalie Fetzer, Willow Smith and Keegan Tatman.
Jason Baird, who appeared in On Stage’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” says the character Tom Mulligan “finds comfort in numbers and ends up being an unintentional Scrooge because he gets comfortable in his rightness and is unaware of his bah humbuginess. I enjoy playing Tom and finding the humanity buried deep in a ledger.”
Kerri Brooks, a Walnut Grove Elementary School teacher who also was in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” is a member of the Monroe-area improvisation troupe Strange Medicine. She says playing Mary Mulligan is “quite a blast. I find it difficult not to laugh at some of the hilarious moments she shares with Tom. The audience will love the humor and then adore the sense of Christmas spirit that shines bright at the end of the play.”
ABOUT ON STAGE: Organized as On Stage Walton in 1971 “to bring a little culture to our town,” the theater moved in 1975 to the current On Stage Playhouse in the old Monroe Primitive Baptist Church, built in 1910. On Stage holds summer workshops for adults and youths. The theater helps support a 501c3 organization. For more information: www.onstagewalton.org