Chance Theater Presents A CELTIC HOLIDAY WITH CRAIC IN THE STONE, Beginning Tonight

Chance Theater has announced its sixth and final production for its 2014 Season - an original musical celebration for the holidays, A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone. Written by resident artists Jocelyn A. Brown, David McCormick, James McHale, Jennifer Ruckman and Bill Strongin, along with Aimee Gomez, Karen O'Hanlon and Scott B. Well. A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone will preview on Tue, December 9. The press performance is on December 10. Regular performances begin tonight, December 11 and continue through December 23 at Chance Theater @ Bette Aitken theater arts Center.

A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone will help you rediscover rich Celtic musical traditions throughout the night with a holiday concert of rousing pub songs, ethereal melodies, and familiar spiritual tunes, all woven together with traditional folktales. Bring the whole family and warm up by the hearth with a cup of tea or a pint of plain with the Chance's own Celtic band, Craic in the Stone.

Irish band Craic in the Stone made its debut at Chance Theater's unique fundraiser, 24hr Chance-a-thon, in March 2013. Its founding members - Jocelyn A. Brown, Aimee Gomez, David McCormick, Bill Strongin and Scott B. Well - had such a great time performing together that they decided to release an album, Say Yes to Craic. Soon they were playing at several local Irish pubs, bringing on additional members - Erika C. Miller and James McHale - and just celebrated the release of their second album, no nay NEVER, at this year's Chance-a-thon. Craic in the Stone continues to grow in popularity, with an emerging legion of "Craic-heads" making custom t-shirts and showing up at their concerts to sing along and share a pint with the band after the show. For more about Craic in the Stone, visit

Originally, the Chance had announced Striking 12 as its season closer, but when the rights were pulled, Artistic Director Oanh Nguyen approached Jocelyn A. Brown, also Chance's Associate Artistic Director, about developing a new musical for audiences that would create a unique and fun experience that would celebrate the holidays with a different flavor than other holiday shows.

"So much of traditional Celtic music is sharing a love of music and community," said Brown. "When I lived abroad, I was struck by how common it was throughout Ireland to find the locals breaking out an instrument or two, playing a few lively tunes or heart wrenching ballads while drinking a pint before heading home. There was a wonderful sense of community and a desire for everyone to take part in the music, no matter how small. As Celtic holiday music has always been a favorite of mine, I can't wait to fuse traditional storytelling with well-known carols and holiday folk tunes for a world premiere here at our artistic home, the Chance."

"Ugh! Another mushy heartfelt holiday show for the whole family?" queries director Karen O'Hanlon, on her first reaction to hearing about the project. "I'm sure I've seen it already. I'll see it next year. Oh wait, the Chance is doing a heartfelt, holiday show for their family? With the fun, insanely talented, Celtic band, Craic in the Stone? Huh....I'm interested. So, a community comes together to celebrate, connect, remember, laugh, and sing over a pint? Okay, I'm hooked!" O'Hanlon, who is appeared onstage last year in The Laramie Project Cycle, and will next be seen at the Chance in Passion Play, continues, "Sitting down with the creative team from the Chance and Craic in the Stone, has been an exhilarating journey of exploring traditions, family, and community.. A night of music interwoven with what we love and dread most about the holidays. Not just a play, not just a concert. An experience."

A Celtic Holiday with Craic in the Stone is currently being written by Jocelyn A. Brown, Aimee Gomez, David McCormick, James McHale, Karen O'Hanlon, Jennifer Ruckman, Bill Strongin and Scott B. Well. The production will be directed by Karen O'Hanlon.

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