Time For a Tuna Christmas

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A scene in the diner during dress rehearsals. Photo by Lillian Wade.

The holiday season has quickly come and gone at Snow College with countless festive concerts and events, such as the theatre department’s third play of the school year, “A Tuna Christmas” which held showings the nights of Dec. 1-4 and was directed by Josh Patterson.

Set in the small, fictional town of Tuna, Texas, the plot centers on the town’s annual “Christmas Yard Display Contest” with Vera Carp having continually been proven champion for the past 14 years. However, a mysterious “Christmas Phantom” known for vandalizing displays has the contestants for this year’s competition on edge. From the troubles of putting on a production of A Christmas Carol to a parent struggling to keep her family together for Christmas, the play offers countless insights and subplots of how the people of Tuna are living their lives during the holiday season.

Katie Ray, a student here at Snow College and portrayer of characters Arles, Didier, Jody, and Farley had this to say about her experience with the play, “[It has] been helpful for me, focusing on character work, each character has to be different and you have to think a lot more about your voice and physicality. Finding their different opinions on the same things and how they feel has been nice in terms of creative freedom, and we’re welcome to try to do anything. It was scary but it was also helpful and fun. Ultimately, it was all about the story we were telling and that as a cast overall we were growing together.”

A Tuna Christmas is the second in a series of three comedic plays set in the town of Tuna, Texas, with A Tuna Christmas being preceded by Greater Tuna and followed up by Red, White, and Tuna. The plays prove to be an affectionate commentary on small-town, Southern lifestyles and viewpoints while also including a little bit of withering satire of the same.

Jayden Allen, also portrayer/understudy of Arles, Didi, Jody, and Farley, affirmed his own similar experience with being a part of the show as well. “It’s been a fun process because we take turns, cast A and cast B, we try new stuff from what the other cast is doing and play around. That’s what I like about this show, it’s fun to make new choices and feel free to try whatever.”

Next up comes the debut for this season’s musical, Tuck Everlasting, directed by Ed Swidey, which will premiere the night of Feb. 23. Auditions are being held tonight, so it’s not too late quite yet to prepare and be a part of the show!

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