Theatrical troupe spreads hope with ‘Christmas Express’
Comedy’s two-week run begins Thursday
By Scott Bellile
Anyone who could use a dose of hope this holiday season might find it in the Wolf River Theatrical Troupe’s annual Christmas play.
“The Christmas Express” runs for six nights over two weeks: Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1, and Thursday, Dec. 6 through Saturday, Dec. 8.
All shows begin at 7 p.m. at Real Opportunities Outreach Center, 304 St. John’s Place, New London.
Director Margie Brown said the play revolves around the question, “What happens when a Christmas angel visits a hopeless little town and brings hope?”
Pat Cook’s holiday comedy takes place in a small community in the midst of hardship during the 1960s.
“It’s one of those towns that’s diminishing because of the economy and people moving away,” Brown said.
The setting, the Holly Railway Station, is hit hard a decline in passengers and faces closure. And Hilda Trowbridge, the depot manager, dwells on the way things used to be rather than looking forward at what potential lies ahead.
The play is relatable, Brown said, because she sometimes notices this mindset in her own community.
The cast is Jeanine Supanich, Clint Danke, Patty Grossman, Jim Sexton, Debbie Martin, Mark Grossman, Rita Thiel, Olivia Levezow, Nic Danke and Laura Sorenson.
Supanich plays Hilda, whom she describes as “irritable,” “hopeless” and “not exactly thrilled with Christmas.”
Supanich hopes that by seeing the play, audiences gain a better understanding of the season of Christmas and what it brings.
“It’s not just a holiday,” Supanich said. “‘It’s more of a feeling’ is the idea that’s going to come across as the play progresses and how the good feeling can be contagious even to somebody like Hilda.”
Added Debbie Martin, who plays The Holly Herald newspaper editor Penelope Blaisdale: “This play is filled with hope and magic. To me that’s what Christmas is all about.”
To reserve tickets, call Judy McDaniel at 920-982-6060.