PRESS RELEASE: THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL Presented by The Whistle Stop Theatre Company at the Hanover Arts and Activities Center
In celebration of the upcoming Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa festivities that continue to represent feelings of cultural admiration and good will toward others, writer-director Louise Ricks presents her unique and multi-layered adaptation Hans Christian Anderson's THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL that is an endearing and ecumenical compliment to December's infectious season of numerous holidays.
Playing out as a children's piece with a running time of just under an hour, THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL is the story of a solitary merchant child (Ziona Tucker) as she tries to sell matches to the dismissive townsfolk of a simple village one cold New Year's Eve. In an effort to stay warm, the child, accompanied by her cat Gerda (a ten-year-old Caroline Beals), strikes numerous matches which go on to magically conjure a series of picturesque visions.
This is where the "unique" aspect of Ms. Ricks' play comes to fruition, where she respectfully deviates from Anderson's short story by making the fiery visions assume three distinct fables of traditional holiday allusions.
Gerda and The Little Match Girl watch as Ms. Ricks' ensemble presents retellings of "The Uninvited Guest," the Jewish parable of a well-intentioned dinner companion, "Uwungelema," the South African folktale of a mystical (and abundant) fruit tree, and "Babushka," the Russian allegory of the Three Wise Men.
Ms. Rick's remaining cast - Marco Martinez, Walter Riddle, Justin Sisk, Shalandis Wheeler Smith, Annie Forsberg Zanetti, and eight-year-old newcomer Prudence Reynolds - play a multitude of roles as part of a minimalist, "theatre-in-the-round" presentation over guitar accompaniment provided by musical director Sarah Rose Wilkinson. Stage management is provided by Jordan Dively.
Recommended for ages three and up, and given the luminously quaint setting that is Ashland, Virginia during the holiday season, THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL, presented by the Whistle Stop Theatre, is set to be a charming and educational glimpse into the holiday observances that mean so much to so many at the year's closing.
THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL plays through December 15, with portions of the proceeds going to Blessing Warriors RVA Inc., which is poised to provide food and gifts for undeserved individuals and families this upcoming season.
Tickets and further event information for THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL can be perused here: