Common Ground Theatre will present its fourth annual production of filmmaker Jeffrey Moore and Common Ground Theatre owner and manager Rachel Klem’s zany Southern-fried comedy, A Trailer Park Christmas, on Dec. 8-11 and 15-18 in Durham, NC. In the best “Hee-Haw” style, this interactive multimedia holiday extravaganza is set in the festively decorated doublewide trailer of Dale and Loraine Dodson (Jeff Alguire and Rachel Klem) in Whispering Pines Trailer Park in West Durham.
In a previous interview with Triangle Theater Review, Rachel Klem recalled, “Jeffrey Moore and I started writing A Trailer Park Christmas in September 2008, and had a working script by the time we started rehearsals in November 2008. We consider[ed] it a work-in-progress, and have made several improvements to the script for [each] year’s production.
She added, “The show is an extremely fun show to work on. It is very silly, and the actors are extremely talented. That combination leaves us in stitches for most of our rehearsals. We wrote the show to entertain and warm up the holiday season, the effect is contagious to our rehearsal process.”
When the (figurative) curtain rises on A Trailer Park Christmas, Klem said, “The Dodson/Hussey family has invited all of the residents of Whispering Pines Trailer Park over for a Christmas Eve party. After the audience/neighbors arrive, it is announced that a holiday tornado is blowing through the park. Everyone must stay put until it passes.”
She added, “Loraine Dodson is being encouraged by her husband, Dale, to enter a singing contest, so she can go to Dollywood and get a collectable spoon she’s been wanting. [But] Loraine’s mother, Meemaw (Jeffrey Moore), discourages her from singing in public due to a humiliating incident that happened to Loraine in high school.”
In addition to Rachel Klem and Jeff Alguire as Loraine and Dale Dodson and Jeffrey Moore as Meemaw Hussy, the 2011 cast for A Trailer Park Christmas includes Raúl Granados as Junior Dodson, Annie Zipper as Jolene Dodson, David Klionsky as Rat Snake, Nancy Pekar as Lou Ann, and Jenn Evans as Little Leah.
Common Ground Theatre invites Triangle theatergoers to:
“Please join [the Dodson/Hussy] family for holiday festivities …. There will be snacks, a little karaoke, and a lot of love as [they] celebrate the season together….
“Jeffrey Moore writes, directs, produces, and acts in his short films. His first film What the Frock?! premiered at The Palm Springs International Short Film Festival in 2007. It also won best short film at the 2007 Ava Gardner Film Festival. Jeffrey is a member of Transactors Improv Company.
“Rachel Klem owns Common Ground Theatre, is the managing director for the local theatre company Ghost & Spice Productions, and is a company member of Transactors Improv. She developed the ongoing serial improv show, City of Medicine, for Transactors and has written many plays, including The Bowling Show and Goodnight, Animals. She has adapted numerous children’s books for the stage, such as The Wonderful Life of a Fly Who Couldn’t Fly and Timothy Cox Will Not Change His Socks.
“[Klem] holds an MFA from The Theatre School at DePaul University and teaches Theatre at N.C. State University.”
In reviewing the 2009 edition of A Trailer Park Christmas, this reviewer wrote:
“Forget about saccharine, sentimental stories of Christmas Eve redemption, the Dodson/Hussy family is partying like its 1999, in a seedy trailer park about to be leveled by a nasty tornado. And if the twister doesn’t get them, their greedy landlords will be there in the morning with a bulldozer.”
Common Ground Theatre presents A TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8-10, 2 p.m. Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 15-17, and 2 p.m. Dec. 18 and 19 at 4815B Hillsborough Rd., Durham, North Carolina 27705.
TICKETS: $17 ($15 students and seniors).
BOX OFFICE: 919/698-3870, firstname.lastname@example.org, or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/209773.
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