David Douglas High actors unwrap comedic late Christmas gift

Here’s a sneak preview of ‘Seasons Greetings’ – a springtime humorous take on a truly dysfunctional family gathered for the Christmas holiday …

Working out their positions for the upcoming production of the play Seasons Greetings, ex-security guard aunt Harriett (played by Becca Daigle) can’t get enough of “Shark Week” violent television shows that also transfix lazy Eddie (Gabe Braet) and his again-pregnant wife Pattie (Shelby Hannsman) – while inventor Neville (played by Alex Montgomery) and his wife Belinda (actor Sable VanMeter) are looking on.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Many years, the David Douglas High School (DDHS) Theater Department has presented serious, dramatic stories for their spring play. Deeply moving presentations of The Crucible and The Diary of Anne Frank come to mind.

But this year, starting on the second weekend in March, the DDHS thespians will raise the curtain on Seasons Greetings, a darkly comedic farce about a maladjusted family Christmas.

Show director Judy LeCoq helps student actors “get into” a scene in their new show, Seasons Greetings.

Still constructing the set for Seasons Greetings, during our sneak preview, are DDHS stagecraft student Chase Bean, Theater Manager Molly Stowe, and students Marshall Hoang and Erik Fosmire.

“It’s a good time for a comedy,” smiled the show’s director, Judy LeCoq, an acting and stagecraft teacher at DDHS. “I think now that Christmastime is past, and people have taken a breather, they can enjoy reliving the foibles of Christmases.”

The play, penned by British playwright Alan Ayckbourn in 1980, is the story of nine adults, most of them relatives plus a couple of friends, who try to coexist during a five-day Christmas gathering.

Neville, woman-of-the-house Phyllis (played by Kendell McCrary), author Clive (Ethan Archer), and burned-out doctor Bernard (Michael Tippery) play an unusual version of the game “Snakes and Ladders” on Christmas night.

They include an incompetent violence-hating doctor and his tipsy sweetie, a gadget-tinkering brother-in-law and his disinterested wife, a lazy hanger-on and his again-pregnant spouse – along with an emotionally fuddled sister, who is a writer and a former security officer and a fan of violent TV shows.

Oh yes, it includes a really bad hand puppet show rehearsal, mercifully cut short by one of the story’s annoyed characters.

“I just love the writing,” LeCoq, told East Portland News. “It’s very tight, quick, and wittily well-written. It’s going to be as much fun for our student actors as it is for our audience!”

Aunt Harriet, Belinda’s emotionally bereft sister Rachel (played by Sarah Granberg), Neville, and Patty are all awakened around midnight when they hear a startling noise coming from the living room …

… and wonder what Clive and Belinda are checking out – other than gifts – under the Christmas tree.

Seasons Greetings opens March 7
The DDHS Theater production of Seasons Greetings plays on five evenings, over two weekends. Plan to see it on opening weekend, March 7 or 8; or on March 13, 14, or 15. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: Students/Seniors: $7; Adults: $10.

The DDHS Theater Box Office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 3:00 until 5:00. Even easier, reserve your tickets online: CLICK HERE. They prefer you to pay for (check or cash) and pick up your tickets in advance of the show night, but they’ll hold them for you at the Box Office until 7:00 p.m. on the night of the show.

The Box Office and Theater are in the David Douglas High School Horner Performing Arts Center, 1400 SE 130th Avenue, located between SE Stark and Division Streets. Call (503) 261-8270 for more information.

© 2014 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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