If you’re tired of seeing ballets about nutcrackers or plays about old scrooges during the Christmas holiday, try unwrapping a modern classic “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” performing in the Lyceum theater.
The play revolves around Dylan Thomas’ memories of Christmas holiday when he was a boy, in the early 1900s. The collaboration with Professor Ann-Caryn Cleavland and the Communication department’s Motion Graphic Design class has led to one of the theater department’s most unique scenic effects used on the Vanguard stage yet. The projections of the fireplace and the snowy grounds outside of the windows served to set the scene well.
The tale captures the essence of family life in Wales during Christmas in the years after World War I. The family’s Christmas celebration was nowhere close to perfect: a kitchen fire ruined the turkey dinner, but the family made the best of the situation, making the holiday memorable.
Freshman Jordan Laemmlen heads the 15-member cast as Dylan, the boy who shares his Christmas memories as a child. Laemmlen is captivating as Dylan Thomas. He is expressive and engaging, he charmed the audience with his childlike excitement. Laemmlen clearly got in touch with his inner child, creating an innocent as well as a playful streak with his friends, freshmen Christopher Orta as Jack, Micah Stratton as Tom, and senior Mark Gutierrez as Jim.
“I went home and watched old home movies of myself when I was a kid—I forgot how I acted when I was that young,” Laemmlen said.
The cast truly evokes a Christmas spirit from the audience with their sense of family and tradition. Each character is so different and is performed impeccably. Their energy is effervescent.
The cast also displays musical talent, singing a variety of Christmas songs, some familiar, others from the
Welsh tradition, all performed in flawless harmony.
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” will continue to play in the Lyceum until Dec. 11.
For tickets, visit www.theatre.vanguard.edu or pick them up at the Lyceum box office.