Friday, August 18, through Sunday, August 28
Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Avenue, Moline IL
A world premiere by a local stage talent, the heartwarming dramatic comedy The Christmas Letter Writing Club makes its debut at Moline's Playcrafters Barn Theatre August 19 through 28, this holiday-themed tale of friendship written by Tom Akers – a familiar actor from Playcrafters' The Odd Couple and the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Drinking Habits and A Doublewide, Texas Christmas.
In The Christmas Letter Writing Club, four women – Jenn, Katie, Lisa, and Allison – reconnect some years after they first formed a bond as students at the University of Wisconsin. At the end of the first reunion, they decide to reconvene at one family’s lakeside cabin every autumn to renew their ties while each of them writes the yearly summary of their lives for their Christmas letters to friends and family. As 20 years of their lives unfold before the audience, the foursome draw strength from one another while sharing the accomplishments, failures, joys, and sorrows that make up their lives.
Directing The Christmas Letter Writing Club is Playcrafters veteran Madison Duling, who previously helmed Princeton's Rage and Stupid F---ing Bird for the venue and appeared in its presentations of A Murder Is Announced and Avenue Q. With Max Johnson serving as stage manager, Duling's creative team includes lighting designer Riley Scranton; sound designer Eric Teeter; sound board operator Nathan Lundburg; light board operator Kathy Edwards; poster designer Katie Newport; and producer Bruce Duling. And featured among The Christmas Letter Writing Club's cast are a sextet of area talents: Mara Earp (Quad City Music Guild's Something Rotten!), Sara Laufer (the Black Box Theatre's Baby), Jaclyn Marta (Playcrafters' Steel Magnolias), Elle Winchester (the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's Inherit the Wind), and set builder Zach Zelnio (A Murder Is Announced).
The Christmas Letter Writing Club runs in Moline from August 19 through 28, with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. Admission is $10-12, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 and visiting Playcrafters.com.