Joplin Little Theater’s next play spotlights Nativity stories

Nov. 27—Greg Green is a busy man these days, directing not one but two of Joplin Little Theater’s upcoming productions over the next three months.

During the first week of February, the JLT veteran will perform “Driving Miss Daisy.” But before that — just in time for Christmas — Green will direct “Six Who Were There,” which premieres next Wednesday night, December 1.

Originally, the theater was set to perform “Plaid Tidings,” but that idea had to be scrapped, Green said.

“There can always be production or casting issues after you decide to put on a production at JLT — it happens in every theater at one time or another,” Green said. In this case, “there were unforeseen circumstances that were beyond the theater’s control, and that’s when we had to step back and kick things off. Due to several issues regarding” Plaid Tidings “we felt we had to cancel the show and put something else in its place.”

Because Green was the person who suggested filling that space with “Six Who Were There,” he was given the go-ahead to direct it.

Despite back-to-back shows, he doesn’t care about the extra workload.

“‘Six Who Were There’ is a show I’ve had in my pocket for about 10 years,” Green said. “I always come back to this when I watch Christmas shows to direct.”

The show can be described as a collection of stories of what each of the six characters in the play saw and heard on the night Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Between each character’s staged moment is a traditional Christmas song from a choir that mirrors what the audience has just heard or is about to hear.

The main thing Green loves about the play “is its simplicity. The story that each character tells is the Nativity story – simple and honest.” The characters are an innkeeper’s wife; a shepherd who is surprised to hear the voices of angels; one of the sages guided by a shining star; Joseph; Married; and a Roman soldier.

“My other favorite thing about the show is that it’s…sweet and short,” he said. “I’ve heard a lot of theatergoers say they love coming to see shows, but during the holidays it’s hard to give up an entire evening for (a theater production), and they want something themed Christmas ‘Six Who Were There’ runs less than an hour, so it’s a very easy show to come to JLT and see without feeling like you have to give up all night for a Christmas event. holidays.”

The actors are Diane Martinous, Greyson Lamp, Sam Hydar, Jonathon Krolis, Shaun Conroy and Ashley Trotnic.

“This cast is the creme de la creme,” Green said. “I was lucky to have real actors come out and do this show at the time, and they all seem to enjoy the idea of ​​them spending time alone on stage with the audience. I imagine the biggest challenge for an actor in this show is that everyone has the whole stage to themselves. … It’s just the actor and the audience, and this cast does that very well.”

The play will take place at 7:30 p.m. from Wednesday, December 1 to Saturday, December 4 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 5. Tickets are $18 for adults, $15 for seniors, and $8 for children 12 and younger.

At the end of each night’s performance, “I hope audiences find the perfect piece in the show for their vacation this year,” Green said. “As we come out of COVID, I hope people start celebrating Christmas the way they used to again – going back to traditions, having familiar things around them. ‘Six Who Were There’ is the perfect way to get back to the tradition The spirit of Christmas.”

For more information, call 417-623-3638.

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