Lantern Theater Company to Present A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, 12/5-1/5

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Lantern Theater Company to Present A CHILD'S CHRISTMAS IN WALES, 12/5-1/5

Furthering its commitment to the intimate exploration of the human spirit through storytelling, Lantern Theater Company continues its 20th anniversary season with a world premiere adaptation of Dylan Thomas' beloved poem A Child's Christmas in Wales. Co-created by Lantern Artistic Director Charles McMahon and Philadelphia interdisciplinary artist Sebastienne Mundheim, the devised performance integrates Mundheim's well-known puppet sculpture work with Thomas' evocative language. The production is family-friendly for children 8 years and older and runs December 5, 2013 - January 5, 2014.

Rather than employing the Lantern's signature style of adapting existing literary properties, A Child's Christmas in Wales is being developed through an exploratory process between the creators, performers and design team. "This poem so powerfully invokes a sense of place that it creates a vivid environment for readers to enter into," says Charles McMahon. "Collaborating on the work has allowed us to provide theater-goers with that same experience."

Presented just before the centenary of Thomas' 1914 birth, A Child's Christmas in Wales is a nostalgic reflection on simpler Christmases past. The poem forms the basis of Mundheim and McMahon's adaptation, which is performed by Charlie DelMarcelle, Doug Hara, Geneviève Perrier and Amy Smith. Together, the artists embrace the intimate space of the Lantern and the strict economy of poetry to develop a multisensory approach to telling Thomas' story.

"When Thomas describes a fire truck in the poem, it becomes a visual anchor for the audience, and so I made a fire truck," says Sebastienne Mundheim, who is also directing. "Thomas' poem reminds us of the relationship between memory and storytelling. What we actually remember are a few visceral fragments, and we create a fluid truth around that memory. This piece allows us to build a story that jumps from one visual anchor to the next, allowing the audience to bring their own personal experiences to the performance."

"Storytelling is the beating heart of what we do at the Lantern," adds McMahon. "This collaboration with Sebastienne is an opportunity to be innovative in our approach to storytelling in a way that we typically cannot, challenging our artists, designers and audiences with a new way to see the world."

A Child's Christmas in Wales runs December 5, 2013 - January 5, 2014 (press opening: Wednesday, December 11, 7 p.m.). Tickets are $20 - $38 and are available online at lanterntheater.org or by calling the Lantern Box Office at (215) 829-0395. $10 student rush tickets are available 10 minutes before curtain with valid ID; cash only. Additional discounts are available for seniors, groups of 10 or more and U.S. military personnel. Lantern Theater Company is located at St. Stephen's Theater, 10th & Ludlow Streets in Center City Philadelphia.

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