Holiday Traditions and Trappings Review – A Christmas Potpourri

Hartley Powers and Mark Stancato in "Top of the Tree" - HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND TRAPPINGS - Photo by Doug Engalla

This pandemic year, the Group Rep offers up a very special Christmas treat for its online audience. HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND TRAPPINGS is a collection of new short plays and stories written by Group Rep members – each focusing on the little moments which make up bits and pieces of holiday customs and memories. The holiday event features 19 actors who share their talents to bring these small but poignant tales to life. Some of the shows have been captured on video, while others were filmed on the Group Rep stage. Produced by Kathleen Delaney and Brooklyn Sample, HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND TRAPPINGS reminds us what Christmas is about while offering a showbiz holiday greeting to one and all. Music was composed by Marc Antonio Pritchett with video capture and assembly by Doug Engalla, lighting design by Douglas Gabrielle, sound design by Sammy Strittmatter, and technical direction by Bert Emmett. Clearly, the Group Rep has tapped into a multitude of talents to send this online holiday card to everyone.

Clara Rodriguez in “100 Years of Christmas” – Photo by Doug Engalla

100 Years of Christmas:  Under the mango tree, Juanita finds reasons to be grateful during the holiday season while making lizard stew for Christmas dinner. Written and performed by Clara Rodriguez with direction by Heidi Harrison Mendez, this story is a blend of past and present, myth and reality.

Hersha Parady and Bert Emmett in “A Cheesy Christmas” – Photo by Doug Engalla

A Cheesy Christmas:  A gourmet cheese shop proprietor who lost her husband last Christmas receives a big surprise when a handsome customer enters her store to buy her most expensive horse cheese – but may have other ideas on his mind. Written by Craig Holland and directed by Helen O’Brien, the tale features Hersha Parady and Bert Emmett.

Katelyn Ann Clark and Beccy Quinn in “Two for One” – Photo by Doug Engalla

Two for One:  What happens when Lindy (Beccy Quinn) and her girlfriend Stevie (Katelyn Ann Clark) clash over how many gifts a Christmas birthday requires. Written by Fox F. Carney and directed by Linda Alznauer, this story puts some unexpected sparkle into Christmas.

Merry Christmas, Relatively Speaking:  Two sisters wonder about keeping Christmas after their mother dies. Written by Stevie Stern and directed by Tom Lazarus, the account features Marie Brocerick and Sascha Vanderslik.

Neil Thompson and Torrey Richardson in “Merry Christmas, Norman Stanton” – Photo by Doug Engalla

Merry Christmas, Norman Stanton:   Norman gets to the most unexpected gift from his co-workers for Christmas. Written by Tom Lazarus and directed by Marc Antonio Pritchett, this holiday event features Neil Thompson and Torrey Richardson.

Cathy Diane Tomlin and Doug Haverty 8n “Santa Claus Wanted” – Photo by Doug Engalla

Santa Claus Wanted:  When a Ms. rather than a Mr. shows up at a large department store to apply for a job as Santa Claus, confusion reigns.  Written by Tom Lazarus and directed by Stevie Stern, the interview features Doug Haverty and Cathy Diane Tomlin.

Londyn Brooks and Michaela Guthrie in “Thank Hallowmas” – Photo by Doug Engalla

Thank Hallowmas:  Maybe Halloween and Christmas really do overlap – as a father and his daughter will soon find out.  Written by Matthew Guthrie and directed by Kathleen Delaney, the story features Londyn Brooks, Marc Antonio Pritchett, Michaela Guthrie, and Kathleen Delany as narrator.

David Ibrahim, Hartley Powers, and Mark Stancato in “Top of the Tree” – Photo by Doug Engalla

Top of the Tree:  Does Christmas gift-giving require shopping, packing, and wrapping – or is there another way to share good feelings and love during the season? Written by Doug Haverty and directed by Bruce Kimmel, the alternative features Hartley Powers, Harley Walker, Mark Stancato, and David Ibrahim.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND TRAPPINGS is a thoughtful holiday gift wrapped in talent and truth as the season – and the year – draw to a close. Multiple talents creatively compose the gift that keeps giving as the Group Rep places a vibrant bow on top of its holiday present to the audience.

HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AND TRAPPINGS premieres at 8 p.m. (PST) on Saturday 12/12/20 and end at midnight on Friday 1/1/21. Pay-per-view admission is $10. For information and tickets, call 818-763-5990 or go online.

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