Get into the spirit of the season with a new twist on two holiday classic! Pontine Theatre's Co-Directors, Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers perform their original two-person staging of A Child's Christmas in Wales, and its condensed version of It's A Wonderful Life. Performances are Fri 14 Dec @8, Sat 15 Dec @4 & @8, and Sun 16 Dec @2, at Pontine's West End Studio Theatre located at 959 Islington Street in Portsmouth, NH.

Tickets are $24 and may be purchased in advance online at www.pontine.org. Tickets may also be purchased at the door a half-hour prior to each show (cash & checks only) based on availability. Contact information: info@pontine.org / 603-436-6660.

Frank Capra's classic film It's A Wonderful Life was based on "The Greatest Gift," a short story by Philip Van Doren Stern. It tells the story of George Bailey, a good man in a small town. So busy helping others, life seems to pass him by. Despondent, he wishes he'd never been born. He gets his wish. Through the eyes of his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody, he sees the world as it would have been had he never been born. He comes to realize that "No man is an island to himself." He also finds that the love of his family and friends are precious gifts.

Pontine's original adaptation of It's A Wonderful Life is a condensed version of the Frank Capra screenplay. Marguerite Mathews and Greg Gathers bring the story to the stage with a combination of shadow puppets, bunraku-style hand puppets, commedia dell'arte masks and live action. Seasonal music, performed by Jeffrey Zohler on dulcimer, accompanies the action of the play.

The program also features Pontine's original staging of A Child's Christmas in Wales. Published in 1954, this prose poem has become a cherished part of the holiday season. Dylan Thomas' recollections of the celebration of Christmas in Wales has entranced both young and old for over 50 years. Greg Gathers and Marguerite Mathews, bRing Thomas' images to life with poetic movement, spirited characterizations, and charming bits of stage magic. A Child's Christmas in Wales is full of colorful aunts and uncles, playmates and adventures, all set in a snowy December long ago and far away.

In addition, audiences will enjoy live holiday music by popular Seacoast musicians, Mike Dunbar and Meredith Eib. Following the performance, everyone is invited on stage to meet the performers, enjoy refeshments, and get a closeup look at the set and props, all designed and crafted by Pontine Co-Director & Performer, Greg Gathers.

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