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A Tuna Christmas

Nov 21 – Dec 24
Barter's Smith Theatre

“In this hilarious sequel to Greater Tuna, the outrageously funny characters of Tuna Texas are back for Christmas!”
“This show is so funny it could make a raccoon laugh affectionately at Davy Crockett.”~ NY POST

By Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams

Radio station OKKK personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie report on various Yuletide activities, focusing on the annual big event, which is the Christmas lawn display competition. The entire Christmas activities are in jeopardy because the Christmas Phantom is on the loose! Audiences will delight in the fact that all 22 characters are played by two quick-changing actors and Barter Theatre favorites, Michael Poisson and Mary Lucy Bivins.

Director's Notes

We all have that relative. You know the one I'm talking about. Uncle Jim, who you’ve never actually seen out of the recliner or without a Budweiser in hand. Aunt Martha, who’s had more plastic surgery than a Barbie doll, but swears she’s just the way God made her. Cousin Leola, who isn’t truly related to any of you, but shows up at every family function with her homemade chicken salad (that you know to stay away from).

Ed Howard, Joe Sears, and Jaston Williams wrote A Tuna Christmas as a love letter to those relatives, and placed them all together in the fictional town of Tuna, Texas. It sounds like locking dynamite and matches together in a basement with a gas leak, but hey, it promises to be a good time.

But even more than a good time, I think they created something special because they created something familiar. I see my uncle in R.R. My high school English teacher in Joe Bob. My football coach in Didi. My friend’s mom in Vera. And, above all, I see the hearts of all these characters trying to make this the best Christmas ever, however they can.

I hope you’ll see that, too. And, in turn, see a little bit of yourself. There’s just something about the Christmas season that, no matter who you’re with, no matter how offensive they are, no matter how angry they make you, you’re happy to be with them. And you love them. I think that’s the magic of Christmas, and the magic of this show.

So enjoy getting to know these people. And enjoy spending time with your family this season. But don’t eat Cousin Leola’s chicken salad; you’ll regret that everyday until the new year.

Barrett Guyton, Director, A Tuna Christmas

Cast & Credits


Mary Lucy Bivinsas Thurston Wheelis, Elmer Watkins, Bertha Bumiller, R.R. Snavely, Pearl Burras, Sheriff Buford Givens, Inita Goodwin, Leonard Childers, Joe Bob Lipsey, Phoebe Burkalter

​Michael Poisson as Arles Struvie, Didi Snavely, Petey Fisk, Jody Bumiller, Charlene Bumiller, Stanley Bumiller, Vera Carp, Dixie Deberry, Helen Bedd, Farley Burkhalter, Garland


Director:Barrett Guyton
Set Designer:Derek Smith
Costume Designer: Lee Alexander Martin
Lighting Designer:Camille Davis
Sound Designer:Tony Angelini
Wig Designer:Whitney Kaibel
​Stage Manager: Sara Douglas

Corporate Sponsors
Farris Funeral Service

Media Sponsors
Bristol Herald Courier