Four short plays set during the holiday season will make up this year's "In the Spirit of Christmas," which opens Friday at the Victorian Players Theater.
Perhaps the best known of the four plays is "The Long Christmas Dinner" by Thornton Wilder. The action spans 90 years and represents in accelerated motion 90 Christmas dinners in the Bayard home. The development of the countryside, the changes in customs and manners as well as the growth of the Bayard family and their accumulation of property sums up vividly a wide aspect of American life. It is a serious play lightened with humor of character. The show will be directed by Sam Luptak Jr.
"The Elf Rebellion," written by Don Zolidis and directed by Gerri Jenkins, tells the tale of Santa's elves, who have had enough of being overworked, underpaid and mistreated. They decide to go on strike. So the Big Guy hires Oompah Loompahs to break the strike. Finally, Santa and his elves come to realize the real meaning of Christmas and settle their differences in the Christmas spirit.
"In The Christmas Machine," also by Zolidis and directed by Luptak, focuses on an evil huckster who finds a town without Christmas and shamelessly sells them the holiday with all the commerciality and bills attached.
"The Truth About Christmas," written by Daniel M. Pearle and directed by Hunter Thomas, follows a 14-year-old girl who challenges the status quo of Christmas at an all-girls prep school. What results is bullying, isolation and a burned Christmas tree.
The casts feature Gia Almasy, Erica Berent, Nick Berent, Carson Conrad, Liz Conrad, Racheal Conrad, Vinnie Dragos, Bill Finley, Christopher Haddock, Haggie Hageman, Brandi Hughes, Andrew Jenkins, Gerri Jenkins, Mayson Jenkins, Olivia Jones, Tyler Jones, Brittiani Ketcham, Brian Lee, Molly Maclochlan, Barbara Malizia, Joe Marshall, Jennifer Milligan, Michelle Moorhead, Claire Offerdahl, Grace Offerdahl, Verity Osborn, Brian Root, Stan Schultz, Tricia Terlesky, Hunter Thomas and Briana Wasylychyn. Erik Dragos is the stage manager.
"In the Spirit of Christmas" will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Dec. 7 and 8 and 2 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 9 at the Victorian Players, 702 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students and senior citizens. The production is a special event, and season tickets cannot be used for admission.
For reservations or more information, call 330-746-5455.