Emerald Pig assembles ’Twas the Night

Story tells of journalist trying to overcome writer’s block.

(From left) Christopher Stanwood

(From left) Christopher Stanwood

Sugar plumb fairies and St. Nicholas come to life in the magical re-telling of the popular Christmas poem ’Twas The Night Before Christmas.

This holiday season, the Emerald Pig Theatrical Society will be putting on the musical that tells the story of the poem’s author Clement C. Moore, a serious news journalist who works for the New York Evening Post.

Moore must write a holiday feature story for the paper just four days before Christmas.

The president of the United States, James Monroe, looks forward to the story every year and is counting on reading it to his family on Christmas Day.

However, Moore has writer’s block.

With pressure mounting from the paper and having to work at home amongst the excitement of his own five children, Clement’s frustration turns into magic.

“It’s all about his struggle to write the story. He’s a serious news reporter but he has a flair, he has an imagination. He’s a good story teller. But he considers himself a newsman and not a fantasy story teller,” explained Chris Carver, who will be playing the part of Clement C. Moore.

“The show is him at home, struggling to put the story together and all sorts of fantasy things happen with sugar plum fairies and he actually sees St. Nicholas and all this magic happens that helps him create the masterpiece that was ’Twas the Night Before Christmas,” said Carver.

This is the first musical production for Carver, who has been involved in community theatre for 12 years.

“I do sing and I am a musician, as well, but its completely different playing and singing in a rock and roll band than standing there singing with just you. A little nerve wracking,” said Carver, adding that although challenging it’s a lot of fun.

Carver says audience members can expect lots of singing, caroling, dancing, fantasy and laughs.

Sharon Malone, the director, has always loved the poem and it has been a part of her family’s Christmas tradition for many years.

She also loves the challenge of a new production.

“ As a director, I never like to do the same thing twice, and I love a challenge,” whether it’s building an airship (Love’s Labor’s Lost) or an alien rock band (Much Ado About Nothing) or figuring out how St. Nicholas is going to slide down a chimney.

Malone also found the music in the show challenging, learning the rhythm of the pieces, tweaking the tempo and pitch and finding the right notes for the actors.

But, “the result is beautiful and funny and sweet and real. Audiences will come away feeling warmly entertained and hopefully they will read the poem again and again with their children, starting their own family traditions.”

• ’Twas the Night Before Christmas runs December 10-13 and 17-20 at 7:30 p.m. at Open Door Church, 11391 Dartford Street, Maple Ridge.

Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.ca, emeraldpig.ca or by calling 604-785-1405.