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Firehouse Theatre Announces Full Cast and Creative Team for A CIVIL WAR CHRISTMAS

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Firehouse Theatre is proud to announce the full cast and creative team working on the next production of its 21st Season, A Civil War Christmas: An American Musical Celebration, by Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. Directed by Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates, this touching family musical will play 14 performances, November 20 - December 20, 2014. Opening night is November 21.

"I am very excited about directing the show not only because we have a stellar cast of performers, musicians and artists working on it but also because the show itself is truly an 'American' Christmas Story," says director Pettiford-Wates. "It is wonderful storytelling and iconic music that brings the 'light' of the holiday season to bear on a very difficult time period historically in the making of our 'American' story. It is a time when the unity of our nation was still very much in question after the protracted struggle of the Civil War. The nation was battered, tired and torn....but the spirit that is the resiliency of the American story was what truly bound us together. The play itself is not 'traditional' Christmas fare but has all the 'tradition' one could wish for from the various perspectives of the people who lived out those traditions during the Christmas season of 1864 and how they came to be...the colorful tapestry of people and culture that is the American story. The play features a live quartet with classic violin, acoustic guitar, piano and percussion with a musical score that combines seasonal selections with iconic music of the Civil War era."

The cast of A Civil War Christmas features Jay Banks (I Have A Dream, Theatre IV ON TOUR), Debora Crabbe (Beads of Me, Richmond Triangle Players), Keydron Dunn (HAIR), Grey Garrett (HAIR), Christopher Hartman (Chicago, Garland Civic Theatre), Kyma Lassiter (Our Town, LGP Theatrical Concern), Jesse Mattes (The Conciliation Project), Jeremy Morris (A Streetcar Named Desire), Craig Smith (It's a Fabulous Life, Richmond Triangle Players), Rebecca Turner (Noises Off, Winnipesaukee Playhouse), 2014 Richmond Theatre Critics' Circle Award Nominee Raven Wilkes.

A Civil War Christmas features costume design by Anna Bialkowski, set design by Eddie Slipek, sound design by Joe Carragher, and lighting design by Nathan Wunderlich.

Having premiered at the New York Theatre Workshop back in 2012, A Civil War Christmasproves a genuine holiday tale as it intertwines the experiences of many. It's Christmas Eve, and 1864 Washington, D.C. is settling down to its coldest Christmas Eve in years. In the White House, President and Mrs. Lincoln plot their gift-giving. On the banks of the Potomac, a young rebel challenges a Union blacksmith's mercy. In the alleys downtown, an escaped slave loses her daughter just before finding freedom. Paula Vogel's family musical connects the diversity of these individuals, showing us that the gladness of one's heart is the best gift of all.

Paula Vogel is an American playwright and university professor. Her full-length titles include The Baltimore Waltz, Hot 'N Throbbing, The Mineola Twins, How I Learned to Drive,and The Long Christmas Ride Home. Awards include 1992 OBIE Award for Best Play, 1998 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, 2004 The American Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Literature, 1997 Robert Chesley Award, 1998 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 1999 PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award, and 2012 American Theater Hall of Fame inductee. Her work has been produced all over the world. She is Chair of the playwriting department and adjunct professor for the Yale School of Drama. Vogel is also the Playwright-in-Residence at the Yale Repertory Theatre. Previous to her current work at Yale, she spent two decades leading the graduate playwriting program and new play festival at Brown University. Vogel holds a Bachelor's Degree from The Catholic University of America and a Master's Degree from Cornell University.

A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel

Where:

Firehouse Theatre

1609 W. Broad Street

Richmond, VA 23220

804.355.2001 firehousetheatre.org

Who:

Artistic Director- Jase Smith

Director- Tawnya Pettiford-Wates

Musical Director- Andrienne Wilson

Costume Designer- Anna Bialkowski

Light Designer- Nathan Wunderlich

Set Designer- Eddie Slipek

Sound Designer- Joe Carragher

Production Manager- Nata Moriconi

Props Master- Symora Thomas

Master Carpenter- Greg Baum

Dramaturg- Grant Freeman

Assistant Director- Amber Martinez

Cast:

Reid/George's Ghost/Bowen......................................................................Jay Banks

Jessa/Jim W./Lil' Joe/Mule..................................................................Debora Crabbe

Willy Mack/Walker Lewis/Wormley/J. Suratt............................................Keydron Dunn

Mary Todd/Secretary of War/Widow Saunders.............................................Grey Garrett

Lincoln/Whitman/Silver..............................................................Christopher Hartman

Elizabeth Keckley/Mrs. Thomas............................................................Kyma Lassiter

Wilkes Booth/Robert E. Lee/Sherman/M. Surratt/Lieutenant/Chester Manton Saunders...........................................................................................Jesse Mattes

Bronson/Eli Parker/Frederick W./Levy/Weichmann/Brown............................Jeremy Morris

Wordsworth/Grant/Payne/Lamon/Old Horse................................................Craig Smith

Raz/A. Surrat/Nicolay/Clara Burton......................................................Rebecca Turner

Hannah/Rose/Aggy/Matron..................................................................Raven Wilkes

When:

November 20 - December 20

Thursdays - Saturdays at 8PM

PAY-WHAT-YOU-WILL Sundays - December 7th & 14th

OPENING - November 21, 2014

PRESS NIGHT- November 22, 2014

Talkbacks- December 7 & 19, 2014

Tickets:

Tickets for A Civil War Christmas are $35 and are available online at www.firehousetheatre.org, by phone at (804) 355-2001, and in person at the Firehouse Theatre Box Office (1609 W. Broad Street). Student, senior, military, RAPT and group rates are also available.

Seating is based on availability. Firehouse Theatre cannot guarantee availability without prior reservation.

Photos by Adam Ewing Photography

Photo 1 - Grey Garrett

Photo 2 - Jay Banks

Photo 3 - Raven Wilkes


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