Like the recent, successful edition of “Short Attention Span Theatre,” which reimagined the yearly live short play festival as an online presentation, The Garfield Center’s “(Stay) Home for the Holidays!” will be a family-friendly video program to enjoy during the holiday season. Consistent with adjustments that the pandemic has brought to all performers and organizations, “(Stay) Home for the Holidays!” participants contributed their efforts from their own socially distanced locations. The resulting feature-length program is produced by GCA Executive Director Steven Arnold, and its performance run begins online on December 4th and will remain available for ticket buyers through December 20th.
Sponsored by Chesapeake Bank and Trust, the program boasts the premiere of five new short plays by area playwrights that feature local actors and directors, along with a reading of a classic holiday poem by a cast of area kids, and the return of a long list of memorable Garfield Center characters from past productions as they audition for the role of Santa.
GCA Board President Mark Sullivan is the writer, director and editor of “Thanksgiving 2020.” A comedy based on the foibles and challenges of holiday mask-wearing, the cast includes Nic Carter, Abbey Wark, Francoise Sullivan and Steven Arnold.
GCA Theatre Manager Nic Carter directs “Taking His Lumps,” by Annapolis playwright Rich Pauli. An FBI Special Agent is investigating possible North Pole improprieties. But is the agent who he says he is, or is something afoot? The cast includes Jen Friedman, Kelly Young, Nevin Dawson and Jane Jewell. Steven Arnold is the editor.
Jennifer Kafka Smith directs “Party Masks 2020.” Written by Elkton resident Michael Collins, the comedy imagines the next stage in fashion accessorizing – an obsession over designer pandemic masks. Sharon and Tom Herz make up the cast, and the videographer and editor is Steven Arnold.
The GCA’s Steven Arnold is playwright, director and editor for two of his own new plays. “Scale Back” is a Thanksgiving-themed play telling the story of an older couple finding comfort in new traditions long after their children have made their own families. In the cast is M.G. Brosius and Robin Wood. Phebe Wood is the Production Assistant.
In Arnold’s second play, the comedy “A Holiday for the Taking,” a little girl walks in on Santa during his Christmas morning stop at her home. But is it really Santa, and who is really in control of the ensuing cat and mouse game? The play teams up the father-daughter cast of Ryan and Finley Ewing. Liam Ewing is the videographer.
Twelve young area performers deliver a new reading of Clement Clarke Moore’s classic holiday poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.” Produced by Paul Cambardella from a concept by Jennifer Kafka Smith and edited by Steven Arnold, the cast includes Ben Anthony, Finley Ewing, Averie Hitzges, Harrison Lavery, Peri Overton, Tilghman Overton, Sophie Pierce, Kaya Ricketts, Lydia Sullivan, Stella Sullivan, Ella von Voss and Kendall Willis.
“The Santa Auditions” are comedy bits that will play out in installments throughout the overall program. From a concept by Francoise Sullivan and Produced by Jennifer Kafka, featured performers include Melissa McGlynn, Izzie Squire, Jim Landskroener, Kirby Powell, Toph Wallace, Katie Cox, Robin Wood, Mark Wiening, Paul Cambardella and Auggie.
Tickets are available online at https://garfieldcenter.org/stayhomefortheholidays. Ticket buyers will receive an emailed receipt that will also contain viewing instructions for when the video goes online on December 4th.