The Santaland Diaries
Nov 29 – Dec 29
Barter's Smith Theatre
By David Sedaris
Recommended for mature audiences due to language and subject matter
This outrageous holiday comedy stars Crumpet, a rebel without a Claus, who recounts his true-life tale of an out-of-work writer’s stint as a Macy’s department store elf. A delightfully absurd look at the commercial Christmas season, Sedaris’ sharp and hilarious observations have rapidly becoming one of the nation’s most popular holiday shows. Barter’s production will feature one of Barter’s favorite actors, Nicholas Piper, as Crumpet.
Like most actors, I have had my share of survival jobs. Those jobs you do to pay the rent while you’re auditioning to get your “real” job in the theatre. Waitress, word processing, landscaper, sales person, hostess, factory worker, Elf. Yes, I was an Elf in Santaland at Macy’s in New York City.
The first time I read David Sedaris’s The Santaland Diaries, I was amazed at how incredibly accurate it was at painting the picture of life in Santaland. Of course, his version was far more cynical than my own recollections and memories. I enjoyed being an Elf. After all, it was the holidays and it was sort of like acting. Well, not really, but I could tell myself that to stay sane. I remember the magic window, the huge tree, the snowy maze, being a pointer elf, a photo elf, a cashier elf, all of it. And like David Sedaris, by the time Christmas finally got here I was done with Christmas. Aren’t we all?
It’s easy to do, what with the crowds and the tempers and stress and lack of money and time. With all the commercialization of Christmas and Santa, we tend to forget what it’s all really supposed to be about. Which is.... hmmm.... wait, I’ll think of it. Well, anyway, I must have enjoyed my experience in Santaland because I came back another year and dressed up as a Christmas tree with two other trees and sang Christmas carols around the store. We were called the Christmas Tree-O. Get it? And I was a Flower in the Flower Petal Trio at Easter for the Flower Show. Gee, I probably have just as many stories as David.
Thank you for taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to join us and share some Christmas cheer. I hope you enjoy your time in Santaland with Nick, never to be confused with St. Nick, and Crumpet. May it give you a good laugh and stir up some wonderful memories of your own crazy holiday seasons. Happy holidays, y’all and the very best to you and yours in the coming New Year!
Tricia Matthews, Director, The Santaland Diaries
Cast & Credits
Performed by NICHOLAS PIPER
Director: Tricia Matthews
Costume Designer: Alice Sullivan
Scenic Concept: Helen Stratakes
Lighting Designer: Camille Davis
Sound Designer: Tony Angelini
Stage Manager: Karen Rowe
Big Weenie Productions