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WilsonvilleSTAGE's winter production is set to ignite a festive spirit with radio show theme

SPOKESMAN PHOTO: CLAIRE GREEN - The cast of A Christmas Pudding are gearing up for eight shows around Wilsonville, beginning Dec. 8 at Meridian United Church of Christ.In a small room off the main entry at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, a group of four actors and five chorus members worked out the kinks of WilsonvilleSTAGE's winter production of "A Christmas Pudding."

"I shortened the cue for you, Terry," director Sandy Libonati said, gesturing to her handwritten, color-coded, note-laden script lying open on her lap. "As soon as Linda says it, you need to pop right up and go to the open stand."

Composed of dozens of feel-good and meaningful readings paired with complementary Christmas music, the production is set as a classic radio show. The theater troop sets the stage with 1950s-era radio microphones and sound effects.SPOKESMAN PHOTO: CLAIRE GREEN - Broken into two groups — actors and chorus — the actors each read between 5-10 Christmas themed pieces while the chorus sets the mood and provides humorous outbursts.

From well-known stories like "A Christmas Carol," and "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" to lesser known stories, including the tale of a raucous choir in the mountains wishing its quiet Irish priest farewell to a well-meaning but misled young couple that gets a bit too caught up in finding each other the perfect gift, the show's timing is crucial to ensure flow.

IF YOU GO

Check out "A Christmas Pudding" throughout December at one of the production's eight shows around Wilsonville and Charbonneau. Tickets are available for $15 and $12 for senior, students and veterans online at www.wilsonvillestage.org/tickets/ or at the door.

¦ Friday and Saturday, Dec. 8 and 9, at Meridian United Church of Christ, 6750 S.W. Boeckman Road

¦ Wednesday, Dec. 13, at St. Francis of Assisi Episcopal Church, 8818 S.W. Miley Road

¦ Thursday, Dec. 14, at Trudy's Living Room, 9740 S.W. Wilsonville Road

¦ Friday and Saturday, Dec. 15 and 16, at the Wilsonville Community Center, 7965 S.W. Wilsonville Road

¦ Monday and Tuesday, Dec. 18 and 19, at Charbonneau Country Club, 32000 S.W. Charbonneau Drive

"It's rich. I haven't seen another show like it," said Terry Kester, actor and WilsonvilleSTAGE artistic director. "And we're doing it as a radio show instead of just doing it as a staged reading, which is how the play is normally done."

Taking a break from producing and directing, Kester is taking his place on the other side of the theoretical curtain as an actor. With professional radio experience under his belt, Kester is perfectly at home with the show's radio format.

"The show is alternating from scene to chorus, chorus to scene, etcetera," Kester said. "It's a unique play with music that's a mixture of comedy, drama and a bit of Shakespeare, famous poets with some very original works."

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