A Taffeta Christmas

The Berry College Theatre Company showed true holiday spirit through their annual Christmas fundraising.

This year’s fundraiser show, “A Taffeta Christmas”, raised more than $4,000 in donations with proceeds going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Berry theatre students’ professional development. 

“A Taffeta Christmas,” written and musically arranged by Rick Lewis, held five performances at the E.H. Young Theatre. The show was directed by Richard Bristow, musically directed by Kris Carlisle, and choreographed by Carey Smith. The cast featured students Jessica Cannon, AnnaBeth Crittenden, Deanna Cunningham, Amanda Johnson, Cardie McClure, Kristen Reeves, Sophia Veser, and Emily Wolfe.

Rehearsals for the show began in October to learn music and choreography. The crew stayed positive and worked hard throughout rehearsals, even working during Thanksgiving break.

“They all worked so hard to get this going and make it successful.  The Taffetas, obviously, but the others involved in the backstage aspects as well - designers, musical director, choreographer, stage manager and her team, props, run crew, etc.  Many people gave of their time and money to support these worthy cause,” Bristow said.

Described as a 1950’s musical review, “A Taffeta Christmas” featured heavy Christmas spirit as eight famous sisters, the Taffetas, sing and dance to 39 songs, many of which are Christmas favorites even today. Many of the songs were performed as mash-ups of several different songs, including “Christmas Carol Medley”, “Fun Songs Christmas Medley”, and “Christmas Around the World Medley” which featured songs like “Mele Kalikimaka” (Merry Christmas in Hawaiian), “Christmas in Killarney”, and finally, “Home for the Holidays.” 

The Taffetas took advantage of this audience, leading to an interactive show where several audience members were introduced as characters from the 1950’s, and a few were even pulled onstage for a musical number. Matthew Johnson, a member of the audience who was introduced as “Cousin Warren” and asked to participate in a song, enjoyed the experience.

“I really enjoyed the Christmas song mash-ups they did, but most of all I liked how interactive it was with the crowd and how they pulled audience members into the play. I think it just made it more fun for everyone,” said Johnson.

BCTC will perform two more plays during the 2014-2015 play season: “Cotton Patch Gospel” Feb. 19-March 1, and “The Servant of Two Masters” April 16-26. Reservations can be made up to two weeks prior to opening by calling the Box Office at 706-236-2263. 

Story by Student Public Relations Assistant Koren Shetter and photos by Student Public Relations Photographer Sara Leimbach.