With Thanksgiving done and Christmas approaching, area arts groups will soon present holiday staples such as The Nutcracker and A Christmas Carol.
But one drama troupe decided to be a little rebellious in their choice for a Christmas production this year.
The Youth Artists Repertory Theatre Company will presents The Homecoming Thursday-Saturday at the Goodwin Commons of Augusta Preparatory Day School, 285 Flowing Wells Road in Martinez.
"It's a nice Christmas story, but it's not your usual Christmas story," director John Greene said. "It's not one people do to death around here. We thought it would be nice to do something a little different."
Written by Earl Hamner Jr., The Homecoming was the basis for the classic TV series The Waltons. Although there are obvious name changes - John-Boy Walton is Clay-Boy Spencer in the play - the characters will be familiar but more true to life Greene said.
Victoria Brisendine (from left), as Becky; Lizzie Grant, as Olivia Spencer; and Cameron Brown, as Mark, rehearse a scene for the upcoming Young Artists Repertory Theatre Company's production of The Homecoming.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
"The play is a little more gritty than I remember the TV show being," Greene said. "It's the same, but different. You'll recognize everybody there but not in the same kind of sappy roles."
The Homecoming is set on Christmas Eve during the Great Depression and focuses on the large Spencer family. Patriarch Clay left the Virginia homestead sometime before to find work, leaving Clay-Boy to be the man of the house in his father's absence.
"It sort of has some myth-like themes to it where the mother sends the son out to find the father," Greene said. "As the son goes through his travels, he finds out things about himself and his background. His big concern is that he wants to be a writer, and he's afraid that will not be acceptable to his father, who is the rough-and-ready kind of fella."
The play features a 22-member cast, not including extras, ranging in age from 9 to 24. Greene founded the company last year, and The Homecoming marks its seventh local production.
The first two nights of the play will be presented as a dinner theater, and the third night as a dessert theater. Food will be served at 6:30 p.m. each night, and the play starts at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the dinner theater cost $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $15 for youth ages 3 and up. Tickets for the dessert theater performance cost $14 for adults and $12 for children. Performance-only tickets cost $12 for adults and $10 for children.
Reservations are required and can be made by calling 210-8915.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.