by Lorie Lewis Ham
The Christmas shows and celebrations have begun! This week we took a moment to interview Kristeina Wolfert, the co-director of A Little Country Christmas, opening this weekend in Hanford, presented by the Kings Players.
KRL: What is the premise of A Little Country Christmas?
Kristeina: The premise of A Little Country Christmas is that in 1992 Dolly Parton broke down in Hanford California, so she called some friends in to do a little country Christmas show for all of the folks that had been so nice to her.
KRL: How fun! Is it something that your company put together or is it a show that has been done in other places?
Kristeina: The show is an original concept that Jennifer Toledo imagined. We had been asked by many of our patrons at the Temple Theater if we were going to do another Christmas show. There was an open slot for our season that needed to be filled at the end of the year, so we decided to run with it.
KRL: What are some of the songs people will hear in this show?
Kristeina: Along with many traditional Christmas songs, there are many songs written by country artists, such as Merle Haggard, Suzy Bogguss, Brooks & Dunn, and of course Dolly Parton. We wanted to have a genuine country vibe throughout the show. One of my favorite songs in the show right now, is the children singing Have a Holly Jolly Christmas, most famously performed by Burl Ives. They are too adorable!
KRL: What made Kings Players decide to do this show for Christmas?
Kristeina: When we brought the show concept to the board, we had an almost unanimous backing of the project. I think they thought the concept sounded fun, and they were all willing to let us dress up like our country music heroes and open up a lot of opportunity for local talent to show us what they could do. Productions like this involve a large amount of community members to put on, unlike some shows that can only cast handful of people.
KRL: Why did you want to direct it?
Kristeina: This is our first hand at directing this type of show. First, you hold auditions and see what talent you have to work with, and then write a show around them. It has been a lot of fun, and we’ve seen a lot of growth with each of our participants.
KRL: What is different about this Christmas show compared to some of the other Christmas shows in the area?
Kristeina: There are always the fan favorites that get resurrected year after year, and each one of them has their own special niche in theater. What is different about our show is that we try to showcase different ways people celebrate Christmas. We offer in our show fun and festive traditions, coupled with relationships and hardships during the holiday season. We also have a large portion of the show dedicated to helping those in need, and of course, the reason we celebrate Christmas in the first place. We tried to write a well-rounded show that is all encompassing.
KRL: What are the dates, times and ticket prices? And where can tickets be purchased?
Kristeina: The dates and times for our shows are…Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, Starting November 17 through December 10. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings. 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon matinees.
You can get your tickets online at kingsplayers.net for $12 or at the door for $14. Our theater has only 70 seats and we already have one show that is no longer available. So get your tickets as soon as possible.
On a sidenote, this is the fourth season in a row that we have not raised ticket prices. We want to keep them affordable as possible.
KRL: I think that’s great! Anything you would like to add?
Kristeina: We hope you come and laugh a little, feel a little bit of the Christmas spirit, and go home feeling uplifted. We were inspired to write this show. It was calling to us. We hope you carve out a little time in your hectic holiday schedule to come see A Little Country Christmas.
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