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“A Trailer Park Christmas” Returns to Common Ground Theatre in Durham on Dec. 9th

Top row (from left) Nancy Pekar, Chris Burner, and Jeff Alguire and bottom row (from left) Raul  Granados, Annie Zipper, Jeffrey Moore, and Tracey Coppedge (photo by Rachel Klem)

Top row (from left) Nancy Pekar, Chris Burner, and Jeff Alguire and bottom row (from left) Raul Granados, Annie Zipper, Jeffrey Moore, and Tracey Coppedge (photo by Rachel Klem)

Common Ground Theatre will present its third annual production of A Trailer Park Christmas, filmmaker Jeffrey Moore and Common Ground Theatre owner and manager Rachel Klem’s interactive multimedia holiday extravaganza, on Dec. 9-12 and 15-19 in Durham, NC. Klem and co-director Rus Hames will stage this Southern-fried comedy, which is set in Whispering Pines Trailer Park in West Durham.

Rachel Klem says, “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 it a work-in-progress, and have made several improvements to the script for this year’s production.

She adds, “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, Klem says, “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 holBob Grannan, Rita Dimoulas, and Geoff Zieman perform in “Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” (photo by Stuart T. Wagner) Grannan, Rita Dimoulas, and Geoff Zieman perform in “Yes Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus” (photo by Stuart T. Wagner)y tornado is blowing through the park. Everyone must stay put until it passes.”

She adds, “Loraine Dodson (Rachel Klem) is being encouraged by her husband, Dale (Jeff Alguire), to enter a singing contest so she can go to Dollywood and get a collectable spoon she’s been wanting. Loraine’s mother, Meemaw (Jeffrey Moore), discourages her from singing in public due to a humiliating incident that happened to Loraine in high school.

“When Meemaw is visited by a ghost (David Klionsky),” Klem says, “she realizes that she needs to repair her relationship with her daughter before going on to save the whole trailer park.”

The 2010 cast for A Trailer Park Christmas also includes Raul Granados, Nancy Pekar, and Annie Zipper.

In addition to dramatist and director Rachel Klem and playwright Jeffrey Moore, the creative team for A Trailer Park Christmas includes assistant director, properties mistress, and stage manager Jenn Evans and technical and scenic designer director Jeff Alguire. The show also features original music and lyrics by Rus Hames.

Rachel Klem says, “A Trailer Park Christmas is set in a doublewide trailer in West Durham. The décor is festive; it is a Christmas Eve party after all…. [The] Lighting is simple, [and] there is a strobe effect…. [And the] Costumes are modern and simple, just the kind of things you would find in a trailer park.”

She adds, “The show is entertaining for all ages, although we recommend it for kids six and older.”

Playwright and director Rachel Klem notes, “Besides it being a work-in-progress and all the challenges that a new script brings, we have three short movies that we show throughout the play. We have a really good time creating the short films and think they add a lot to the production. We premier a new holiday film every year, and this year’s offering is titled ‘A Zombie Christmas Carol.'”

Common Ground Theatre presents A TRAILER PARK CHRISTMAS at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-11 and 15-18 and 2 p.m. Dec. 12 (SOLD OUT) and 19 at 4815B Hillsborough Rd., Durham, North Carolina 27705.

TICKETS: $17 ($15 students and seniors).

BOX OFFICE: 919/698-3870, rachel@cgtheatre.com, or http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/132906.

SHOW: http://www.cgtheatre.com/events.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.cgtheatre.com/.

PARKING: http://www.cgtheatre.com/directions.

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This review is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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To read all of Robert W. McDowell’s Triangle Theater Review previews and reviews online at Triangle Arts & Entertainment, click https://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/robert-w-mcdowell/.

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