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East Lynne Theater Company Presents YULETIDE TALES

Opening night is Friday, December 4 at 8:00 PM on ELTC's YouTube Channel.

East Lynne Theater Company Presents YULETIDE TALES

Since April, East Lynne Theater Company has been presenting "Tales at Home," virtually, and "Tales in the Backyard," live, and for the holidays, its "Yuletide Tales."

Enjoy songs sung by local musicians, intertwined with holiday stories read by ELTC performers in the comfort of your home. Opening night is Friday, December 4 at 8:00 PM on ELTC's YouTube Channel https://www.tinyurl.com/ELTCYouTube, and is available for free, through December 30.

This production is dedicated to everyone in the medical profession, from those working diligently to find a vaccine, to those working tirelessly in hospitals.

Performers were safely filmed separately at the Cape May Presbyterian Church where the company is in residence, then artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth edited the clips together for this 80-minute holiday treat. There's nothing like being on a stage performing, even if there isn't an audience. The fun thing about watching a show at home, however, is that viewers can pause, go backwards, forwards, and even use Closed Caption.

The storytellers are familiar to ELTC audiences. Stephanie Garrett is a popular reader for "Tales of the Victorians" and ELTC productions include "Lost on the Natchez Trace." Her story for "Yuletide Tales" is "Mirama's Christmas Test" by A. Thomas Fortune. It's about a marriage proposal.

James Rana and Gayle Stahlhuth were in ELTC's recent production of "Nothing Matters." His tale is "Letter from Santa Claus" by Mark Twain, which is an actual letter he wrote to his 3-year old daughter, Susie. In "A Great Tree," by Zona Gale, Calliope Marsh figures out how Friendship Village can have a Christmas for everyone. It's read by Gayle.

Susan Tischler, who will be in ELTC's upcoming production of "Born Yesterday" and is currently ELTC's storyteller on Cape May MAC's "Ghosts of Christmas Trolley Rides," is reading "Old Applejoy's Ghost" by Frank R. Stockton. It's about a ghost who wants his relatives now living in his old home, to have a big Christmas celebration like he used to have.

Usually, this time of year, Barry and Susan Tischler present "Barry's Cape May Opry" at West Cape May Borough Hall, in which all the proceeds support the West Cape May Christmas Parade. Due to the pandemic, neither the "Opry" nor the parade is happening this year, but Barry, with Tom Naglee on the fiddle, perform "Silver Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" for "Yuletide Tales." They've been entertaining at local restaurants, outside.

Lelah and Jay Eppenbach, known as the singing duo, the Honeyhawks, are also school teachers, navigating this tricky time of working with students during a pandemic. They performed at West Cape May's Farmers' Market and other places this summer. Their songs are "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland."

Will Knapp serenaded his neighborhood when the pandemic began and has been performing outside at local venues. Holly Knapp, usually to be seen performing on a variety of stages in South Jersey, is the co-host of the true crime/comedy podcast "We Would Be Dead." They joined together to sing "Jingle Bells" and "It's that Time of Year."

The reason "Yuletide Tales" is free, is because its funded through New Jersey Theatre Alliance's (NJTA) "Stages Festival 2020." Funding from this festival has allowed ELTC to conduct in-school workshops in Cape May County for 18 years, and take its Sherlock Holmes radio plays on the road throughout New Jersey. Since the performance at the Mahwah Public Library, scheduled for March 15, had to be cancelled, NJTA allowed ELTC to use the funding for "Yuletide Tales."

The "Stages Festival" was developed to encourage New Jersey residents to attend their local professional theaters by making the experience affordable, accessible, and fun. It has reached over 220,000 audience members since its inception in 1997. Major funding is provided by Bank of America, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, PSEG Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, The New Jersey Historical Commission, George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. "Stages Festival" is gearing up for March through May performances in 2021. To learn more, visit https://njtheatrealliance.org/stages-festival.

Founded in 1981, NJTA is the first statewide organization for professional, not-for-profit theater companies in the United States, of which ELTC is a proud member. NJTA is a leader in developing model programs that foster collaboration, cooperation and audience development. To learn more about NJTA, visit https://njtheatrealliance.org.

Meanwhile, ELTC presents "Christmas Tales in the Backyard," live, on Thursday, December 10 at 3:00 PM. Tickets are still available for our "400 Raffle." The drawing is on Saturday, December 19 at 9:15 PM at the Cape May Presbyterian Church. Although "Yuletide Tales" is free, donations are gratefully accepted.

For information about ELTC, including our upcoming 2021 Season, call 609-884-5898, e-mail eastlynneco@aol.com, and visit www.eastlynnetheater.org.


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