The University of the Virgin Islands Theatre has announced the upcoming production of "O Christmas Three!" a children's holiday musical written by UVI Playwright-in-Residence Dr. Doug Larche. The production features more than 40 UVI students, faculty and staff members. It consists of a trilogy of children's Christmas plays published by Dramatic Publishing and performed originally across the U.S. and Canada. For this UVI premiere, Dr. Larche has converted the play, which he also directs, into a full-scale holiday musical.
Special productions are set for Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 28 and 29, at local schools. Two public productions of the full trilogy are set for Thursday, Dec. 1, at UVI's Administration and Conference Center on the St. Thomas campus. Those shows are set for 4 and 7:30 p.m. Admission is free for children and students of all ages. Adult admission is $10.
The trilogy consists of "Peas on Earth: A Birds-Eye View of Christmas," "Dorcas the Christmas Duck (Or Vincent the Violet-Nosed Vulture) A Cautionary Christmas Tale" and "The Last Straw: A Christmas Fable."
In "Peas on Earth," the unique Turkey family, new to the holiday culture, performs a hilarious Christmas pageant for their upper crust neighbors, the Penguins. In "Dorcas," a generous, good-natured vulture unwittingly volunteers to be roasted for Christmas dinner. In "The Last Straw," a tall, lonely Ice Elf is ridiculed by the selfish Short Squat Trolls until Ms. Sandy Clause magically appears and helps them understanding the meaning of Christmas.
Parts of "O Christmas Three!" will be performed at elementary schools - based on a first-requested, first-performed system - on the following schedule:
Monday, Nov. 28, at Gladys A. Abraham School, "The Last Straw" and "Dorcas" will be performed in the morning; "Dorcas" and "Peas on Earth" will be staged at Sts. Peter and Paul School Monday afternoon;
Tuesday, Nov. 29, at Faith Alive Christian Academy, "The Last Straw" and "Peas on Earth" will be performed in the morning; "The Last Straw" and "Dorcas" will be performed at E. Benjamin Oliver School on Tuesday afternoon.
While not religious, per se, according to Dr. Larche, the three shows have a decided Christmas theme. "We are not trying to exclude anyone or any beliefs, but this show is based on Christmas traditions and stories," he said.
Actors include Krystie Webster, Krystal Webster, Neffy Clavon, Jada Lynch, Sherrika Industrious, Jimeeka Stridiron, Delreese Gifft, Kianna Phillip, Merle Eustache, Jai Kenyatta Anderson, Tricia George, Caroline Conaty, Carlla Morris, Shawn Seabrookes, Dorian Foster, Kaseem Romney, Collin Pfingst, La'zon Phillip, Ah'qheah Richards, Aloni Creque, E. Christopher Williams, Robenson Gassant, Aquila Dorsey, José Santiago, Delano Penha, Esme Edwards, Ricky Mabry, Brianna Grantham, Max Cymerint, Francesca Gourdet and faculty member Dr. Kathy Dudemaine.
"O Christmas Three!" is music-directed by Dr. Larche. His dramaturge is Susan Elliott Larche, and assistant directors are Caroline Conaty and Cary Galdo. Dr. Larche composed all the original music for this show. Musicians, accompanists and transcriptionists include Nicole Moore, Susan Larche, Darryl Williams Jr., Danny Silber and Larche. Rehearsal actors are Joshua Jno Pierre, Sarah Hedberg-Buenz and Chenelle Kuntz. The production team includes Myoshi Osborne, Meschach Taylor, Ruth Donovan Smith and Naji Shadeed, and many of the actors listed above. Denise Humphrey and the staff of UVI's Reichhold Center for the Arts shared set pieces for the touring production.