Christmas is right around the corner, and so is Shakespeare & Company's annual production of David Sedaris' irreverent Christmas memoir, The Santaland Diaries. Once again directed by Artistic Director Tony Simotes, this will be the third and final year Shakespeare & Company calls on an actor to don the regulation pointy-toed socks. This year, Shakespeare & Company welcomes longtime Company member David Joseph Hansen to play Sedaris' less-than-merry autobiographical self, Crumpet the Elf.
The Santaland Diaries runs from November 30 through December 30 in S&Co.'s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. Press Opening is Saturday, December 1 at 7:30PM.
Tickets are $15-$50, and S&Co. offers a wide range of discount options, including discounts for groups, students, senior citizens, military, teachers and our very popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. To view a complete schedule, receive a brochure, or inquire about discounts, please call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.Shakespeare.org. For customized group visits-which may include artist talkbacks, tours, and catered events-contact the Group Sales office at (413) 637-1199, ext. 132. The Bernstein Theatre is hearing aid assisted and wheelchair accessible.
"I couldn't be more excited to direct Santaland for a third and final year," says Artistic Director Tony Simotes. "Holidays are all about tradition, and this has been a really special one for the Company. Re-imagining a production is challenging, but incredibly rewarding. I've been extremely lucky to work with three great actors: Peter Davenport, Ryan Winkles, and now the hilarious David Josef Hansen. Each actor has brought a unique perspective that has changed my outlook on this wonderfully funny and poignant play, and I can't wait to explore it again, but this time with David."
Simotes and Hansen have worked together several times over the years, most notably on the The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), which the pair have teamed up for three times at Shakespeare & Company. Hansen last appeared with the Company in the 2005 mainstage production of The Taming of the Shrew, which starred OBIE Award winner Rocco Sisto and was directed by Daniela Varon.
During the entire run of The Santaland Diaries, Shakespeare & Company will be accepting donations on behalf of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the nation's leading industry based HIV/AIDS fundraising and grant-making organization. This is the third consecutive year the Company has worked with Broadway Cares, which uses the donated funds to support local organizations. Over the past two years, the Company has raised over $10,000 for Broadway Cares.
"As a Company we have made a commitment-as theater artists and as people-to give back to the community. I've been incredibly heartened by the enthusiasm of our patrons to contribute to such a wonderful cause, and I'm confident their generosity will help us make Broadway Cares another substantial contribution this holiday season."
The Santaland Diaries is the occasionally subversive, alarmingly clever, engagingly poignant, and always rib-tickling account of Mr. Sedaris' time as a Christmas elf in the famous Macy's Santaland. The essay on which the play is based propelled Sedaris into the national spotlight when it was first published, and is now a modern holiday classic. After applying for the position as a gag job, our hero is suddenly thrown into a world of tinsel, fake snow, Santas who are more naughty than nice, and all the cringe-worthy trappings of the Macy's Santaland. Our reluctant protagonist guides us through the yuletide nightmare with a wryly satiric attitude, but even he may eventually find himself filled with holiday cheer. A true tale of redemption and good will, The Santaland Diaries is a hilarious depiction of what the modern holidays are all about.
PRODUCTION: The Santaland Diaries
THEATRE: Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
WRITER: David Sedaris, adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
DIRECTOR: Tony Simotes
CAST: David Josef Hansen
COSTUME DESIGNER: Govane Lohbauer
STAGE MANAGER: Joan Cappello
SET DESIGNER: Patrick Brennan
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Stephen Ball
SOUND DESIGNER: Mike Pfeiffer
WARDROBE: Stella Schwartz