By Johnny Jackson
About 40 Southern Crescent residents have toiled since last September.
Adults and children alike have rehearsed their lines and created the sets for the Henry Players' fall/winter production of the Christmas classic, "A Christmas Story."
The Philip Grecian play adaptation, based on the book by Jean Shepherd, is set to hit the stage on Nov. 19 at the Henry County Performing Arts Center, located at 37 Lemon Street in McDonough.
"We really wanted to bring the family together for the holidays," said Kim Decker, board member and marketing chairperson for the Henry Players. " 'Christmas Story' is a holiday classic, and we wanted to bring that to stage."
The stage play was made into a family-oriented movie that was released in theaters in 1983. "All the elements from the movie are here," Decker said. "The story follows nine-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB Gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher, and even Santa Claus himself, at Goldblatt's Department Store."
The play, directed by long-time Henry Player, Mark Schau, includes performances by area residents: David Bedford, as Ralph; Renee Yawn, as the mother; John Martin, as the Old Man, and Hayden Barrow, as Ralphie.
Decker said the production includes a 20-member cast, supported by a crew of 20.
The Henry Players' production of "A Christmas Story" opens Thursday, Nov. 19, at 7:30 p.m. It will continue through Nov. 21, with start times at 7:30 p.m. A matinee will be held on Sunday, Nov. 22, beginning at 2:30 p.m.
The Henry Players will hold special encore performances after the Thanksgiving holiday, with two productions of "A Christmas Story" on Nov. 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 29 at 2:30 p.m.
"We are hoping to draw a much larger audience by spreading out our marketing," Decker said. "A lot of schools are out after Thanksgiving and people are on vacation for the holidays, and we felt like it would be a great activity for families to start the holiday season."
Tickets are available online, or at various locations in the Southern Crescent, according to Decker. In advance, tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors, age 50 and up, and children, age 12 and under.
Decker said tickets can be purchased at the door: $13 for adults and $11 for seniors, as well as for children, 12 and under. To purchase tickets online or find ticket locations, visit the Henry Players web site.
On the net:
Henry Players: www.henryplayers.com