Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops
OPENS FRIDAY DECEMBER 19!!
A Holiday Season Event for All Ages
The Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops proudly presents Holiday Delights from December 19 through December 21 at Gloucester Stage Company, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester. Holiday Delights features a cast of over 30 young people ranging in age from 6 to 17, all students in Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops. This family holiday event marks the sixth time in Gloucester Stage history that a production has featured a cast of student actors from the GSC Youth Acting Workshops Program. First produced in 2007, Holiday Delights has become an audience favorite and Cape Ann holiday tradition. Conceived and directed by Gloucester’s Heidi Dallin, Holiday Delights is a festive evening of stories, songs, and dance recounting the special traditions that other cultures and families experience as seen through one young girl’s magical journey on Christmas Eve to discover what is really important during the holiday season. Holiday Delights performances are December 19 through December 21 at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Performance times are 7 pm on December 19, December 20 and 3 pm on December 20 and December 21. Ticket prices are $15 for Adults; $12 for Senior Citizens, $8 for Students and $6 for Children under 12. For tickets and further information, call 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com
The 2014 edition of Holiday Delights features the journey of Ella, a young girl who discovers the spirit and the joys of the holiday season as she faces the unhappy prospect of leaving her beloved hometown of Gloucester and moving with her family to a new home in Michigan. Ella’s special Christmas Eve journey helps her to realize and appreciate the importance of her own family traditions. During her Christmas Eve travels with Mrs. Claus and the elves, she celebrates Hanukkah, travels back in time to turn of the century Gloucester to see her Italian-Irish ancestors celebrate the holidays and meets famous literary characters including The Cratchit Family and the Fezziwig Family from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, the March Sisters from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women and the animals of the enchanted forest and a talking Christmas tree in Henry Van Dyke’s The Very Best Kind of Christmas Tree.
Holiday Delights features Sign Language, movement, music, and costume design – all skills that the student actors learned in YAW classes this year as well as the return of Christmas in Gloucester, the original story set in turn of the century Gloucester featuring Ella’s grandmother as a young girl herself growing up on the Fort in an Irish-Italian fishing family and a retelling of The Very Best Kind of Christmas Tree. According to director and writer Heidi Dallin, “By adding Christmas in Gloucester to the show I wanted to explore the main character’s background so she could see first hand the origin of her own family traditions and thus gain a new appreciation for them. I also wanted to offer the entire cast a glimpse of Gloucester’s past and enrich their experience in the production. We had an enthusiastic audience response to the story so we brought the story back this year with some new twists and new characters.” Regarding the new adaptation of The Very Best Kind of Christmas Tree, Dallin adds “The actors love telling the story of the little green tree and her friends, the animals of the forest because they get the opportunity to play the animals in the forest.”
The 30 young actors bring the original and classic stories to life on stage with a fresh perspective. Many actors play multiple roles in the production to bring all the stories to life. Holiday Delights features over 100 costume changes, Irish step dancing, folk dancing and a traditional Hebrew dance with the added twist of dancing dreidels; classic holiday music including Angels We Have Heard on High; Deck The Halls; O, Christmas Tree, Three Ships, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, and a holiday sing a long with the audience.
Gloucester 11 year old Ella de Gaspe Beaubien plays the young girl who wants to skip Christmas rather than move away from Gloucester. de Gaspe Beaubien came to YAW as a 7 year old with stage fright whose parents described as “a backstage girl.” Now this “backstage girl” is front and center and has been a cast member of Holiday Delights since 2010. She made her Holiday Delights debut in 2010 playing an elf and a rabbit.
Gloucester native 15 year old Talia DeWolfe takes over the role of Mrs. Claus. DeWolfe has been a student of Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshops since 2010 and has appeared in Holiday Delights for 4 years.
The Holiday Delights 2014 cast also includes nine year old Bezawit Strong who made her stage debut in Holiday Delights 2013 and her professional stage debut in August 2014 in the GSC’s 35th Anniversary Season production of Fences. Strong takes over the role of the talking Little Tree in The Very Best Kind of Christmas Tree.
In addition to Dallin, the artistic staff includes music direction by Gloucester Public Schools’ Helen Greene, choreography by Carol Burnham, set and prop design by Danvers native Jamie Wilkinson, costume design by Lara Jardullo, lighting design by Brendan Marr and stage management by Annika Rosenvinge assisted by Davia Meader.
Holiday Delights performances are December 19 through December 21 at Gloucester Stage, 267 East Main Street, Gloucester, MA. Performance times are 7 pm on December 19, December 20 and 3 pm on December 20 and December 21 Ticket prices are $15 for Adults; $12 for Senior Citizens, $8 for Students and $6 for Children under 12. For tickets and further information, call 978-281-4433 or visit www.gloucesterstage.com