It might be May, but Flat Rock Playhouse says it’s time to pull out the tinsel, hang the mistletoe, and head South for the holidays!
The second of the extremely popular “Greater Tuna” series, a collection of comedic plays set in the fictional town of Tuna (the 3rd smallest town in Texas), A Tuna Christmas will return to The Playhouse Main Stage starring the hilarious Scott Treadway and his (or her) equally hilarious counterpart, Preston Dyar. Though seemingly a two-man show, there will be no lack of characters as these two gentlemen, who have separately been a part of several productions of the Tuna Series, will introduce audiences to over twenty of the town’s most colorful characters together for the very FIRST time. A Tuna Christmas will run on the Main Stage in the Village of Flat Rock June 3rd.
For those who are not familiar with the series, director Paige Posey gives a quick synopsis of town’s characters and the various holiday antics they are up to in Tuna, Texas circa 1990-something. “Due to an unpaid power bill, Dixie DeBerry is threatening to shut off the lights on the Tuna Little Theatre’s production of, A Christmas Carol, which means Stanley Bumiller won’t finish his community service. The Christmas “Phantom” is on the prowl upending the annual holiday yard display contest, which Vera Carp intends to win (for the fifteenth year in a row). And, housewife Bertha Bumiller is struggling to have a happy Christmas, despite her three ‘problem’ children, a pregnant cat in her kitchen pantry and her unfaithful husband, Hank, who is off on another bender.”
Though the characters will certainly be entertaining enough on their own, there is also something to say for the technical feat that is central to the show’s success and also incredibly entertaining to watch. Posey notes, “In literally seconds these versatile actors transform from male to female, child to adult, and from waitress to housewife to radio station personalities. Ashli Arnold’s expert costume design and assistance will prove imperative to Treadway & Dyar’s storytelling as the actors must seamlessly transform from one character to the next and basically right in front of the audience eyes. Fat padding, bean bag bras, wig, facial hair all come and go like tourist on a team-line. Often the actors are layered with costumes 3-characters deep.”
Though a curious time for this holiday focused comedy, Senior Director of Marketing & Development, Dane Whitlock explains the decision to strike the harp and join the chorus a few months early.”People ask me all the time – why A Tuna Christmas now? We wanted to present something from the hilarious Tuna trilogy during the height of the season so that we could capture as many folks as possible.” Whitlock continues, “And to be honest, this is the funniest one of all. We presented a scene from this play with Preston and Scott during our annual fundraiser Dark Night Revue last year and people were howling! We knew then and there that we simply had to do it.”
The scenic design for A Tuna Christmas is by Chris Mueller with previously mentioned Ashli Arnold providing the costumes. CJ Barnwell will design the lights, sound design by Kurt Conway. Catori Swann will serve as Stage Manager with Amelia Driscoll as Assistant Stage Manager.
With the combination of Christmas, Tuna, Treadway, Dyar and a little Playhouse magic, this upcoming play is bound to be dangerously funny to the point of causing bellyache inducing laughter. Get ready to pull out the tacky Christmas sweaters and join in the fun as Flat Rock Playhouse and their favorite funny men present A Tuna Christmas.
A Tuna Christmas will run through July 3rd at the Flat Rock Playhouse Main Stage in the Village of Flat Rock. Matinee and evening performances Wednesday through Sunday. Performance dates and show times vary per week; patrons are encouraged to visit the Flat Rock Playhouse website for more information. Tickets are available for $15 – $50 and can be purchased by calling The Playhouse box office at 828-693-0731, toll-free at 866-737-8008 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. Flat Rock Playhouse is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC 28731.
The Executive Producers of A Tuna Christmas are John Cox & Peter Parry. Flat Rock Playhouse 2017 Sponsors include: Mainstage Series Sponsor, Henderson County Tourism Development Authority; Opening Night Sponsor, BMW of Asheville; Playhouse Downtown Sponsor, Rug & Home.