The Christmas Bus Comes to the WCC Stage
Arriving right on time for the holiday season is The Christmas Bus, presented by Wytheville Community College Theatre. The Christmas Bus, a musical by Robert Inman, will be performed November 30-December 1 and December 7-8 at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Snyder Auditorium in Grayson Hall on the WCC campus in Wytheville.
A comedy with humor for grownups and kids, The Christmas Bus is a family friendly musical. The story takes place one Christmas at the Peaceful Valley Orphanage when the orphanage director, Mrs. Frump (played by Lorrainea Burcham) decides to make Christmas extra special by arranging for each child to spend Christmas with a real family. The oldest orphan, Thomas (Scott Pakkidis), helps Frump with her plan as she tries to outwit the interfering orphanage board of trustees who would like nothing better than to make Frump resign her position. Chased by the local sheriff (Robert Burnett), Frump and the orphans take a wild bus ride, encounter a traveling troubadour (Clint Helton), and realize the true meaning of family.
Area youth featured in the cast of orphans include Piper Bailey, Sam Edwards, Reagan Evans, Brinkley Hash, Arie Lucas, Ethan Lucas, LiliBelle Lucas, Tasi Kapranos, Charla King, Jessie Moore, Mariah Sharpe, and Victoria Thomas. Adult members of the cast include Barbara Brown, Carol Easter, Tina Edwards, JoBeth Hilton, Aurora Lucas, Lorna King, and Frances Moore.
According to Director Janice Pryor, one of the stars of the show is the bus.
“Originally, the bus was a stumbling block to our doing the show, but Scene and Sound Designer Roger Dean Grubb worked his magic, and, voila, we have a bus!” said Pryor.
Pryor goes on to explain that, as always, the technical crew is a very important part of the production. Assistant Director Robert Burnett also assists with scene construction and lighting design, and Tina Edwards coordinates all the costumes. Lighting Technician Coyote Edwards makes sure the audience can see all the action, and Sound Board Operator Jonathan Powers ensures they can hear all the songs, while Stage Manager Jeremy Miller keeps the scenes running smoothly backstage.
“They never get to take a bow, but there’s no theatre without them,” Pryor added.
General admission tickets for The Christmas Bus are $8; tickets for students (any age, any school/college) are $5. Tickets can be purchased at the door 30 minutes before each performance.
“Please note the 7:30 p.m. performance time for this show,” Pryor cautioned. “We’re starting earlier to make this production more accessible for children, hoping lots of families will want to make The Christmas Bus part of their holiday celebration.”
The Christmas Bus is produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill., and was originally produced at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C., with Alan Poindexter as Artistic Director.