On December 15th and 16th, Readers Theatre Repertory presents a mixed bag of Christmas stories, directed by Wendy Wilcox, in a month themed Bittersweet Christmas.
The evening features Dylan Thomas’s A Child’s Christmas in Wales, performed by Oregonian columnist Jonathan Nicholas, and Mutilated, by Tennessee Williams.
Nicholas brings the memory of his boyhood in Wales to the Dylan Thomas story. He calls the tale a trip back to his own village, saying it could as well be about his own family, friends, and childhood exploits.
Director Wilcox says ambivalence influenced her choice of plays. “I have mixed feelings about the holidays,” she says, “and I think most of us do.” While a time of joy and reverence for some, the days, packed with family and loaded with emotion, can also be a time of isolation, dysfunction, and hypocrisy.
Wilcox says she wanted to tell the whole story of Christmas. “The Thomas tale really captures the sweetness of the season, with an undercurrent of sadness, while William’s play, which is one of his most controversial, is a kind of Christmas carol — but an incredibly dissonant one.”
The cast includes Matt Haynes, Andrew Hickman, Matthew Martin, Mary McDonald-Lewis, Betty Moyer, Tom Nabhan, and Jonathan Nicholas.