Christmas classic taking stage at Chemainus Theatre Festival

This year, the presentation is Philip Grecian’s adaptation of A Christmas Story.

The holiday season at the Chemainus Theatre Festival is always memorable and this year, the presentation is Philip Grecian’s adaptation of A Christmas Story.

Based on the 1983 Turner Entertainment Co. film, and the book, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, by Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday tale makes great stage fare, too.

From Nov. 18 to Dec. 31, you can follow a young boy’s dogged pursuit to fulfill his Christmas wish.

The play includes all the youthful imagination, humour, nostalgia — and many memorable scenes — that make the film a holiday classic.

Director, Ian Farthing, brings the story of Ralphie’s all-consuming Christmas wish to life.

The nine-year-old boy’s coveted present is an official Red Ryder carbine-action BB gun.

It seems that he will stop at nothing from acquiring the desired toy — including pleas to his mother, his teacher, and Santa Claus himself, which include the constant refrain of “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

The story is based on the boyhood experiences of author Jean Shepherd.

All the well-known movie moments are there to enjoy in a new way — from the metallic schoolyard pole to dad fawning over a leg-shaped lamp, a series of decoder pins, an exploding furnace, and more yuletide adventures.

The live production also adopts the nostalgic setting, quirky cynicism of adults, imaginative outlook of youth, and the feeling of small-town holiday cheer that makes the story a holiday classic.

The cast is a dynamic ensemble of adult and child actors, including: Sarah Carlé as Ralphie’s Mother, Brian Linds as older Ralph, Stephen Sparks as The Old Man, Melissa Young as Miss Shields, and in the young company: Zebastin Borjeau as Schwartz, Isabel McGregor as Helen, Simon Minkow as Flick, Olivia Robinson as Esther Jane, Brin Slydell as Ralphie Parker, Ben Williams as Scut Farkas, and Joshua Williams as Randy.

Staging the play to perfectly match to the original late 1930s-era mood, are: set designer Carolyn Rapanos, costume designer Laurin Kelsey, sound designer Brian Linds, lighting designer Ben Burrow, stage manager Liz King, and assistant stage manager Claire Friedrich.

A Christmas Story will delight both long time fans of the film and newcomers alike.

It offers a silliness to capture children’s attention, and a wonderfully constructed holiday story for grownups to enjoy.

Tickets are available now for evening and matinee shows, playing Nov.18 to Dec. 31, by calling the box office at 1-800-565-7738, or get them online at

Show enhancements are available, and include: free “talk-backs” to learn about the play and the playwright from the cast and crew following Wednesday performances; a special show-themed dinner add-on in the Playbill Dining Room; and a full “getaway” package at the Best Western Plus Chemainus Inn (which includes accommodations, show dinner, deluxe breakfast buffet, use of the indoor mineral pool, hot tub and fitness centre).

Find show dates and times and then start planning your family’s own Christmas story in Chemainus.

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