A Christmas Story

A CHRISTMAS STORY

A Beloved Holiday Classic

Adapted by Phillip Grecian

Humorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself at Higbee's Department Store, and is always given the same response: "You'll shoot your eye out!" All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family's temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys' experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie's father winning a lamp shaped like a woman's leg in a net stocking; Ralphie's fantasy scenarios and more. 

You won't want to miss this Holiday Classic which is great fun for the whole family!

 

Wednesday, December 11 at 7:30pm

Thursday, December 12 at 7:30pm

Friday, December 13 at 7:30pm

Saturday, December 14 at 4:00pm

Saturday, December 14 at 7:30pm

Sunday, December 15 at 1:00pm (Theatre for All Performance)

 

Tickets are $17 for the general public, $12 for NMU Faculty/Staff, Seniors, and Military, $10 for students, and $5 for NMU students.

Located in the Forest Roberts Theatre.

 

Cast List

Ralph Dustin Golden
Ralphie Parker Evan Harma
Mother Sara Parks
The Old Man Jason Parks
Randy Jack Johnson
Miss Shields Riley Fields
Flick Nate Wood
Schwartz Sevi Voight
Esther Jane Alberry Avonlea Kuhlman
Helen Weathers Marin Johnson
Scut Farkas Winston Leonard
Grover Dill Christian Leonard
Desperado 1 Mickie Wiza
Desperado 2 Charlie Edwards
Black Bart Ian McCullough
Tree Lot Owner Seth Bowen
Santa Claus John Fatla
Delivery Man Paul Leow
Mrs. Schwartz Heather Isaacson
Voice on Radio Christian Sharp
School Ensemble Lyla Isaacson, Elysie Isaacson, Talyn Rasmussen
Families Ensemble Heather Issacson, Lyla Isaacson, Elysie Issacson, Christian Leonard, Katie Spengler, Talyn Rasmussen, Ian McCullough, Emma Block, Winston Leonard, Christian Sharp

 

Indicates work done in partial fulfillment of the senior capstone.

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

 

Creative Team

Director Teagan Sturmer
Scenic Designer Lex van Blommestein
Lighting Designer Vic Holliday
Costume Designer Shelley Russell
Sound Designer Dan Zini
Properties Master Hannah Carey, Keli Crawford-Truckey
Technical Director David Pierce
Production Stage Manager Katherine Marsh
Producer Bill Digneit

Indicates work done in partial fulfillment of the senior capstone.

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

 

 

Additional Artistic Staff

Associate Technical Director Emily Baker
Assistant Scenic Designer Hannah Carey
Assistant Stage Manager Sylvia Bednarczyk
Combat Choreographers Jacob Laitinen, Nick Salin
Master Electrician Dan Zini
Light Board Operator  Katherine Marsh
Sound Board Operator William Squires
Spotlight Operator Sophie Sam
Audio 2 Seth Bowen
Run Crew

Mickie Wiza, Charlie Edwards, Ian McCullough, Seth Bown, Paul Leow

† Indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

 

 

Forest Roberts Theatre Staff

Costume Shop Supervisor Ann Juidici
Costume Shop Crew

Erin Culp, Frances Dykema, Masie Johnson, Kate Karling, Eric Mackall, Sabrina Nelson, Joel Shinavier, Esther Teng, Zoe Zimmer

Scene Shop Foreman Ross Johnson
Carpenters and Painters

Emily Baker, Emily Kendall, Keegan Downey, Alec Vanhorn, Audree Stephens, Taylor Venegas, Ester Teng

Lighting and Sound Supervisor Dan Zini
Electrics Crew

Jacob Stipe, Justin Van't Hof, Sam Stauffer, Eric Honig

Prop Artesians Keli Truckey, Hannah Carey
Box Office Manager Nick Salin
Assistant Box Office Manager Sophie Sam
Box Office Staff

Abby Macek, Jacob Laitinen Leah Danielson, Marina Morse, Micah Munts

Photographers NMU Marketing
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† indicates membership in Alpha Psi Omega, the National Theatre Honor Society.

 

Cast Bios

Dustin Golden (Ralph) is a sophomore at NMU from White Pine, Michigan, who is pursuing a career in law. He is a political science major with a theatre minor. His previous performances include Sweeney Todd (Run Crew) and Mamma Mia! (Ensemble). He figures if he’s going to become a lawyer, he might as well know how to put on a good show.

Evan Harma (Ralphie Parkeris 11 years old. Evan is very excited to be playing Ralphie in A Christmas Story as he has been told he looks like Ralphie since he was a toddler. Evan is an actor with Superior Arts Youth Theater. His most recent role was The Mysterious Man in Into the Woods Jr. Evan also enjoys performing as a magician. When he is not performing, he enjoys fishing, mountain biking, basketball, and guitar.  Evan has requested his own Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, but his mother thinks he will shoot his eye out.

Sara Parks (Mother) is an active performer and full-time music teacher in Marquette. She loves sharing her passion for acting and singing with her husband and two amazing children, who continue to inspire and maker her laugh her every single day. Sara's favorite performances include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (Narrator), Godspell (Joanne), Into the Woods (Baker's Wife), Pippin (Catherine), and Les Miserables (Cosette). She has also music-directed for SAYT's productions of Narnia, James and the Giant Peach, Into the Woods Jr., and Frozen Jr. Sara is looking forward to recreating a classic on stage alongside her hilarious husband, Jason.

Jason Parks (The Old Man) is a 2010 graduate of NMU's social work program and a proud patriarch of a theatre family. A latecomer to this arena, Jason has been involved in recent community productions Beacon on the Rock, Building Madness, and Julius Caesar, as well as multiple productions of Scrooge!  He is thrilled to be acting alongside his beautiful wife, Sara, as the mother and father in this wonderful adaptation of one of the most iconic films of all time.

Jack Johnson (Randy) is in the third grade. He has been in multiple performances through Superior Arts Youth Theater, including playing Les Jacobs (Newsies, 2019), Rapunzel's Prince (Into the Woods, 2019), Michael Darling (Peter Pan, 2018), and ensemble roles in A Midsummer Night's Dream and Alice in Wonderland.

Nate Wood (Flick) is 11 years old and a sixth grader at Bothwell Middle School. Nate loves to ski, bike, and travel. Since 2017, he has been involved in numerous productions through Superior Arts Youth Theater, including Into the Woods Jr. (Cinderella's Prince), Alice in Wonderland (King of Hearts), As You Like It (William), and High School Musical Jr. (Chad) among others. Nate first acted at Northern in Scrooge! (2017 and 2018) and is excited to be back at the Forest Roberts Theatre. In his free time, Nate likes to walk his dog and play with his cat.

Sevi Voigt (Schwartz) is very excited to join the cast of A Christmas Story. Sevi lives in Marquette with his family and goes to Bothwell Middle School. Sevi started acting during SAYT’s production of Shrek the Musical Jr. Since then he has been in multiple SAYT productions. He also enjoys traveling and writing stories. Sevi would like to thank the directors for this amazing opportunity, and his family for letting him do what the loves.

Avonlea Kuhlman (Esther Jane Alberry) is an 11 year old with a lot of energy! She’s taken the stage in 15 local theatre productions to-date, having had opportunities to work with NMU’s Forest Roberts Theatre, the Lake Superior Theatre, and the Superior Arts Youth Theater. A few fun characters of note she has portrayed are Young Elsa (Disney’s Frozen Jr.), Little Red Riding Hood (Into the Woods Jr.), Bielke (Fiddler on the Roof), and Chip (Disney’s Beauty and the Beast). Avonlea also recently dabbled in the film world when she had the opportunity to play the role of a murderous youth in a short horror film. Beyond acting, Avonlea also enjoys participating in behind-the-scenes action, helping with artistic, tech, and run crew activities for productions whenever possible.

Marin Johnson (Helen Weathers) is in sixth grade. She has been very active with Superior Arts Youth Theater, with previous roles as the Witch in Into the Woods Jr., Templeton in Charlotte's Web and the Narrator in The Brave Little Tailor. She has been in ensemble roles in Alice in Wonderland, Shrek the Musical Jr., Peter Pan, High School Musical, Schoolhouse Rock Live Jr., Kids Sing Broadway and Newsies. She is excited for A Christmas Story, her first show with NMU!

Winston Leonard (Scut Farkas/Ensemble) has been in previous productions such as Frozen Jr., Scrooge!, School House Rock Jr., The Lion King Jr., Shrek the Musical Jr., Cinderella, and many others. His favorite part of being in theatre is finding out what part he got. He loves to get into the mindset of different characters! When he is not onstage, he enjoys being outdoors, playing the piano, singing, and playing soccer.

Christian Leonard (Grover Dill/Ensemble) has appeared in many shows. Some include Frozen Jr., Scrooge!, School House Rock Jr., The Lion King Jr. and Cinderella. Other than acting, he likes to build Legos, arts and crafts, and playing outside! His favorite part of theatre is singing and being with friends. He loves to participate in plays because they entertain people!

Charlie Edwards (Desperado 2) is a senior English writing major with a double minor in dance and computer information systems. Charlie has appeared in many theatre productions at NMU, including Beauty and the Beast (Ensemble), Twelfth Night (Sailor), Tarzan (Ensemble), and Scrooge! (Simpkins). Charlie also played Mordcha in Lake Superior Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof and the Troll Queen in NMU’s world premiere story ballet production of East of the Sun, West of the Moon. He most recently performed with NMU’s Co/Lab Collective in What We Leave Behind: Addressing Climate Change Through Dance. He is very excited to be in this production and hopes you enjoy the show! Happy holidays!

Ian McCullough (Black Bart/Ensemble) is happy to perform his very first production at the Forest Roberts Theatre! He is a freshman at Northern Michigan University studying theatre and has pursued acting since the eighth grade. Other productions he’s been in include his high school’s productions of Radium Girls, Beauty and the Beast, and The Sound of Music.

Christian Sharp (Voice on Radiois a returning sophomore at NMU who has recently changed his major to theatre. With no prior experience under his belt, this is the first production he has ever participated in; this will be the first time he has ever stepped onto a stage. He is excited and grateful for this opportunity, to the director for casting him, and to his cast mates for being welcoming to this new experience. He hopes to grow and to learn a lot as a performer from this production.

Emma Block (Ensemble) is a theatre major who transferred from Northwestern Michigan College, and this is her first semester here at NMU. Emma has been doing theatre since 6th grade, but took a break in 2017 in order to focus on work and college. She is excited to make her debut at NMU with A Christmas Story after a 2 year hiatus from theatre!

Elyise Isaacson (Ensemble), age 7, is in second grade at Superior Hills Elementary and loves to swim, ride horses, bike, read, and spend time with her friends and family. This is her very first time performing in a production. She is thrilled to be a part of A Christmas Story!

Lyla Isaacson (Ensemble), age 9, is in fourth grade at Superior Hills Elementary and loves to play soccer, ski, bike, read, and spend time with her friends and family. Since 2015, she’s been involved with numerous productions through the Superior Arts Youth Theater, including Alice in Wonderland Jr., School House Rock Jr., Lion King Jr., and The Nutcracker. This is her first NMU production; she is excited to be a part of this experience and is so grateful to be a part of A Christmas Story!

Talyn Rasmussen (Ensemble) is very excited to be in this production of A Christmas Story. She has been in many productions with the Superior Arts Youth Theater, including Seussical, Kids Sing Broadway, Peter Pan, Newsies, and Legally Blonde Jr. She was also in last year's Beauty and the Beast here at NMU as the Rug. She has been doing theatre since she was 8, and she has loved it ever since. One of her biggest passions other than theatre is gymnastics, and she loves using it on stage. She would like to thank the crew and cast for getting to know her, and for helping her every step of the way. Enjoy the show!

Katie Spengler (Ensemble) is a senior at NMU from Lake Orion, Michigan and is excited to be onstage again in A Christmas Story. She has performed in NMU’s Scrooge! (2017,2018), Tarzan (2018), and was involved in many shows during high school. At NMU, she is studying environmental studies and sustainability with a double minor in biology and wildlife conservation and policing. In her free time, she loves exploring Marquette and painting. She is very excited to continue to participate in theatre in college and hopes you enjoy the show!

Creative Team Bios

Teagan Sturmer (Director) is an actor and director from the Marquette area. This is her first time directing for NMU Theatre and Dance and she is thrilled and honored to be here. Other directing credits include Peter Pan (Superior Arts Youth Theatre, Assistant Director), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (SAYT, Director), Alice in Wonderland (SAYT, Assistant Director), and As You Like It (SAYT, Director). She invites you to sit back, relax, enjoy the show, and reminiscence on your own childhood Christmases. Merry Christmas!

Victor G. Holliday (Lighting Design) has been the designer for the Forest Roberts Theatre since 1982, and also served as technical director from 1982-2000. He holds a bachelor of arts in phsychology from St. Johns University (Minnesota), and his master of fine arts in scenic design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Before coming to NMU, he was designer and technical director at Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey). Vic has also designed for summer and community theatre companies in Hawaii, Michigan, Wisconsin, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Outside of the theatre, his major interests are history (particularly military and naval history), ship modeling (pre-deadnought steel navy), and he is an active ailurophile.

Shelley Russell (Costume Design) is a professor of theatre arts at NMU. Shelley teaches a variety of courses, including playwriting and stage combat. She's directed over fifty productions including Beauty and the Beast, RENT, Romeo and Juliet, Peter Pan and Legally Blonde. She enjoys all aspects of theatre, and has acted and sung in numerous productions, created dance and fight choreography, designed costumes and written plays and musicals which have been honored by the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award Competition, KCACTF, the National Endowment for the Arts and the State of Michigan. She served as executive director for LST and in 2011 was honored by NMU with the Distinguished Faculty Award. Playwriting credits include Holdin' Our Own, Beacon on the Rock, Haywire, Points North, and Water, Woman. 

David Pierce (Technical Director) came to NMU from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY where he had been technical director for the department of theatre and dance. Other TD credits include Adirondack Theatre Festival, Little Theatre on the Square, and Four Seasons Theatre Company. David holds a BS in construction management from Ferris State University and an MFA in theatre technology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In his spare time, he loves to be outdoors. He enjoys hiking, boating, fishing, biking, and bonfires. He's also a boisterous Tigers fan!

Bill Digneit (Producer) is the owner of Double Trouble Entertainment. He received his M.F.A. in Technical Production and Design at Florida State University.

Sylvia Bednarczyk (Assistant Stage Manager) is delighted to assistant stage manage A Christmas Story! Sylvia recently graduated from Reavis High School in Burbank, Illinois, where she spent her free time working on productions at her school’s theater. She is double majoring in theatre tech and design as well as outdoor recreation leadership and management at Northern Michigan University, and wishes to pursue theatre as a career. She has loved working with children and adults alike in this production. Sylvia cannot wait to continue her theatre journey at the Forest Roberts Theatre!