Closing weekend for quirky 'Seasonal Ties' at Vero Voce Theatre
St. Charles -- As the holiday season approaches, people anticipate their yearly Christmas traditions: Christmas songs, decorating the tree, Santa Claus, time with loved ones, and so on. WT Productions offers a new production called "Seasonal Ties" that takes some of those traditions and stands them on their head. Ring in the holiday season with this collection of six short plays that takes Christmas and looks at it from different perspectives. "Seasonal Ties" blends light comedy, dark comedy, and drama to put a unique spin on this traditional time of year.
The production, written, produced, and directed by Debbi Dennison and Carl Zeitler, will run for the final 3 performances at Vero Voce Theatre the weekend of Dec. 8-10. The six short plays include "For It's a Jolly Old Memo," "Sure," "Hands Off!," "Global Warming," "Three for the Road," and "December 26th: The Aftermath."
Dennison had a strong inspiration for this type of production. "I'm not a fan of the holiday season. In fact, every year, I look forward to Jan. 2. So it's fun and therapeutic for me to get my frustrations out about the holidays by writing about them," she said. Dennison had collaborated with Zeitler on several previous writing projects, so they approached Vero Voce about providing a venue for this new production.
The cast of "Seasonal Ties" includes: Nancy Braus (Schaumburg), Steve Delaney (St. Charles), Debbi Dennison (Streamwood), Isabella Ford (Glen Ellyn), Danny Glenn (Roselle), Carolyn Larsen (Wheaton), Galen Malick (Bartlett), Stephen Pickering (Fox River Grove), Heidi Swarthout (Oswego), Lori Rohr (Palatine), Sheri Warren (Ingleside), and Carl Zeitler (Glen Ellyn).
Dennison offered insight into the three plays that she wrote. "'Sure' is a dark comedy about a married couple contemplating a divorce during the holidays. The intent of this piece is to show that even though it's the holiday season, the trials and tribulations of life don't just 'stop.' I lived this situation; it's tough to deal with at any time of the year, but during the holidays, it's even more confusing. 'Global Warming' is about a couple dealing with their teen daughter's anxiety issues during the holiday season. She is now starting to see things, but are these things really just in her mind, or are they reality? I wanted to show that everyone is fighting their own battles, even during the 'most wonderful time of the year.' 'Hands Off!' was first produced with Vex Theatre Company as a 'TWIST A CAROL' production. It's one of my favorites, so I was more than happy to be able to do it again. It takes a dark, quirky look at a typical day at the office for two holiday-themed department store window puppets. Yes, puppets. Need I say more?"
Zeitler wrote "For It's a Jolly Old Memo" and "Three for the Road." Dennison and Zeitler teamed up to write "December 26th: The Aftermath."
Zeitler shed light on his two solo written efforts. "'In For It's a Jolly Old Memo,' Santa Claus has sent out a memo to the Christmas elves that a new dress code is about to be implemented. It's a comedic play that, while it deals with characters out of Christmas lore, has connections to what people deal with at their jobs every day. Just like the workplace, the elves react to the memo in different ways," Zeitler said.
"'Three for the Road' is a dramatic piece about a person that finds no solace or comfort in the holiday season. He has had to deal with demons for some time. The holidays are not joyful for many people, quite the opposite, and this character is one of those people. Two visitors from his past visit to see if they might be able to help. 'December 26th: The Aftermath' is the last play in the production. It takes many of the characters of the previous five plays and drops them in a plot where Santa Claus has not returned to the North Pole after leaving on Christmas Eve to deliver presents."
Performances of "Seasonal Ties" will be 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday. The performance for Saturday is already three-quarters full with advance sold tickets. Tickets are $15 or $12 for seniors/students. Tickets are now on sale at verovoce.com.
Vero Voce Theatre is located at 951 State Ave., Suite F in St. Charles. Free parking is available. For more information, call (630) 584-0139. The production is appropriate for PG-13 audiences.
Dennison summed up why "Seasonal Ties" is a great holiday choice. "It pokes fun at the holidays and offers a fresh, quirky but realistic look at the season. There is something for everyone because the plays all have material that is relatable to some degree. And there's comedy, dark comedy, drama, elves, puppets... and more. Theatre goers looking for a simple night of entertainment will walk away with just that. Those that like to be challenged on a deeper level will enjoy seeing how the use of the word "tie" is an integral part of the overall production... both in the literal and figurative sense. And because it's original material, there is not another show out there like this. So if you want different holiday entertainment, please come see 'Seasonal Ties.'"