The Group Rep presents a collection of virtual plays around the theme of surviving the holidays.
So this year has been a tough one…for everyone. Theatre has been hammered, obviously and I am repeatedly amazed at how tenacious and creative those in the theatre world have been. Producing online plays and continuing to bring the stories they love to the world. In times like these story tellers are more important than ever. They heal us, they embrace us, they bring us hope and comfort and inspiration. They help us through this stormy, painful and difficult time.
This collection of stories and plays from the very good people of the Group Rep are exactly what we need. They are humorous, tender, poignant and beautifully put together.
“Holiday Traditions and Trappings” is written and performed by the members of the Group Rep and like some gorgeous family photo album, brought out especially for the holiday season, they remind us of our humanity and community and of the importance of love and connection in all our lives.
The stories range from whimsical Mexican Christmas memories, cheese stores of love, sisters finding a way to love Christmas, confusing sexy viral gifts, Santa as a lady and even a musical!! It’s hard to pick a favorite, so I won’t. Suffice it to say that each and every one of these delightful, charming plays are deliciously good, filled with brilliant performances and hilarious characters and the spirit of the season.
I love the way these plays are shot. Instead of a haphazard, boring single shot of the stage, like so many other viral plays, they have taken such care to compose everything. It’s really beautifully done and makes such a huge difference! The Group Rep has a reputation for encouraging new playwrights and for innovative and inspiring work. And this production, so badly needed, is a lovely way to spend an hour or so.
I miss the theatre. I miss everything about seeing a show. Trying to find parking, hanging about in the lobby, squeezing in the sometimes squeaky seats, the darkness before the first act, the anticipation, intermission and final curtain…everything. As a writer I would attend several shows a week sometimes. I remember complaining sometimes that it was too much…what a ninny!!
I’m thrilled that Group Rep has hung on, we have lost too many small theatres to this horrible pandemic. We need local theatre more than ever now. Their wonderfully supportive members are to be congratulated on their uplifting and heartening work.
They’ve brought 46 years of bringing theatre to NoHo !!! Bravo!!
“Holiday Traditions and Trappings” runs till New Year’s Day and you can go to the Group Rep website for details and tickets. https://thegrouprep.com
All eight plays have been written by Group Rep members. Cast size for each play ranges from 1-4 actors. The holiday event features 19 actors. Some of the shows have been filmed on the Group Rep stage with safe Covid protocols adhered to; others have been video captured. The event is produced by Kathleen Delaney and Brooklyn Sample for the Group Rep. Music composed by Marc Antonio Pritchett. Video capture and assembly by Doug Engalla. Lighting design by Douglas Gabrielle. Sound design by Sammy Strittmatter and technical direction by Bert Emmett.
“100 YEARS OF CHRISTMAS”
Under the mango tree, Christmas miracles abound!
Written by Clara Rodriguez
Directed by Heidi Harrison Mendez
Features Clara Rodriguez
“A CHEESY CHRISTMAS”
A very much set-in-her-ways gourmet cheese shop proprietor is ready to close up for Christmas Eve, when in walks a customer with more than fermented dairy on his mind.
Written by Craig Holland
Directed by Helen O’Brien
Features Hersha Parady (Eleanor) and Bert Emmett (Bob)
“MERRY CHRISTMAS, NORMAN STANTON”
Norman gets a very unusual-and-living Christmas gift from the guys at work — special delivery.
Written by Tom Lazarus
Directed by Marc Antonio Pritchett
Features Neil Thompson (Norman) and Torrey Richardson (Tiffani)
“MERRY CHRISTMAS, RELATIVELY SPEAKING”
Two very different sisters collide on Christmas Eve and wonder about the worthiness of continuing to commemorate Christmas.
Written by Stevie Stern
Directed by Tom Lazarus
Features Marie Broderick (Beth) and Sascha Vanderslik (Diana)
”TWO FOR ONE”
A suitor shows up a Christmas Eve dinner with two-gifts-for-one and is met with unexpected results.
Written by Fox F. Carney
Directed by Linda Alznauer
Features Beccy Quinn (Lindy) and Katelyn Ann Clark (Stevie)
“SANTA CLAUS WANTED”
A large department store needs a Santa for the holidays and the wrong person shows up to apply … or so it would seem.
Written by Tom Lazarus
Directed by Stevie Stern
Features Doug Haverty (William) and Cathy Diane Tomlin (Woman)
A Christmas ornament sparks a father – daughter bond and a magic that only the holidays can bring.
Written by Matthew Guthrie
Directed by Kathleen Delaney
Features Londyn Brooks (Fallon), Marc Antonio Pritchett (Cup), Michaela Guthrie (Princess) and Kathleen Delaney (Narrator)
“TOP OF THE TREE”
A mother explains her family’s long-standing, feel-good, tradition of selfless, creative gift-giving.
Written by Doug Haverty
Directed by Bruce Kimmel
Features Hartley Powers (Molly), Harley Walker (Vanessa), Mark Stancato (Steven) and David Ibrahim (Neal)