Our Mission
We produce theatre and theatre education in Tucson that entertains, educates, and enlightens children, adults, and families.

Live Theatre Workshop
5317 E Speedway Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85712
Reservations: (520) 327-4242
livetheatreworkshop@gmail.com

NOVEMBER 20, 2010 - JANUARY 2, 2011

The Santaland Diaries
and Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!

THE SANTALAND DIARIES at Live Theatre Workshop

By David Sedaris

Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello

Directed by Michael Martinez

 

ABOUT THE PLAY

Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello, THE SANTALAND DIARIES is based on National Public Radio commentator David Sedaris’ 1992 essay recounting his bizarre experiences working as a Macy’s Elf during the holiday season. Live Theatre Workshop’s production features Christopher Johnson as Crumpet the Elf, the long-suffering victim of vicious children, nasty parents, and manipulative co-workers. Packed with witty, dry insights into crass commercialism, THE SANTALAND DIARIES is a welcome antidote to the schmaltz of the season. SEASON’S GREETINGS TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!! is Sedaris’ biting satire of a Martha Stewart-like housewife whose annual holiday letter reveals some very disturbing details. This dark-humored one-act features Kristi Loera.

“A delightfully thorny account of working as a Yuletide elf at Macy’s. Priceless observations, both outrageous and subtle. Destined to hold a place in the annals of American humor writing.” -The New York Times

“A sardonic, merrily subversive tale - just the antidote to bright-eyed joy before too many shopping days have passed.” -New York Newsday

 

DIRECTOR'S NOTE

I was sitting in a court room waiting to be not selected for jury duty and reading David Sedaris’s book of autobiographical short stories, Me Talk Pretty One Day. This particular chapter was recounting the time he had spent taking a French class as a means to grasp bits and pieces of the language before a vacation in France, which I could relate to—just having returned from studying abroad in Spain myself. I had the sense that Sedaris had been sitting beside me in my Spanish classes taking detailed notes about the variety of characters and awkward communication barriers that accompany learning a second language. The description of his situation, my situation, was so spot-on and presented with such clarity that I could not help but laugh out loud—too loud. Everyone in the courtroom turned their heads and looked up from their yellow writing pads. I apologized meekly, put the book away, and the bailiff thanked me for my time and said that my jury services would not be needed.

Christopher Johnson as Crumpet in THE SANTALAND DIARIES at Live Theatre Workshop

The SantaLand Diaries and Season’s Greetings have the same hilarious and lucid storytelling that I experienced in the courtroom that day. Sedaris is able to step back and observe human culture almost like an anthropologist, and show us the comic situations and hilarious characters that we encounter in our everyday lives. So often, the intensity of the Christmas season transforms us into hyper-consumers with a very long list of rituals and behaviors that have nothing to do with the spirit of Christmas. Through these stories, Sedaris does the exact same thing that Dickens or the Charlie Brown Christmas Special does—reminding us to focus on what is important. He reveals our secret thoughts, our pretension, and paints a picture of us in our least flattering and most cynical moments. It is satire at its best, but is not about politics or something we’ve read in the news, it is about us. Sedaris captures our lives with such accuracy that we can’t help but laugh at ourselves—or get huffy and continue with the pretense, but I encourage you to step back, laugh, and enjoy these hilarious, sometimes dark, and masterful stories filled with characters we all know, our friends, our families, and yes, though it may be hard to admit, ourselves.

- Michael Martinez, Director

 

Kristi Loera as Jocelyn in SEASON'S GREETINGS TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!! at Live Theatre Workshop

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Sedaris made his comic debut recounting his strange-but-true experiences of being a Macy's elf clad in green tights, reading his SANTALAND DIARIES on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Sedaris' sardonic humor and incisive social critique have since made him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators and a bestselling author in the United States and abroad. The great skill with which Sedaris slices through euphemisms and political correctness proves that he is a master of satire. Everywhere he goes David Sedaris delights his audience with his irreverent style and great humor. In addition to his commentaries on NPR, David Sedaris is the author of the best sellers BARREL FEVER, NAKED, ME TALK PRETTY ONE DAY and DRESS YOUR FAMILY IN CORDUROY AND DENIM. His other book, a collection of Christmas related stories, is entitled HOLIDAY ON ICE. David and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name The Talent Family and written several plays which have been produced at La Mama and at Lincoln Center in New York City. These plays include STUMP THE HOST, STITCHES, ONE WOMAN SHOE, which received an Obie Award, INCIDENT AT COBBLER'S KNOB and THE BOOK OF LIZ. David is a regular contributor to Esquire magazine and his essays have also appeared in The New Yorker, Allure and Travel and Leisure. Sedaris’ original radio pieces can often be heard on public radio's THIS AMERICAN LIFE, distributed nationally by WBEZ in Chicago, as well as BBC radio in London. David Sedaris currently resides in Paris.

 

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT

Joe Mantello - Directing credits include ASSASSINS (Tony Award), WICKED, TAKE ME OUT (Tony Award), FRANKIE AND JOHNNY IN THE CLAIR DE LUNE, A MAN OF NO IMPORTANCE, DESIGN FOR LIVING, Terrence McNally and Jake Heggie’s DEAD MAN WALKING for the San Francisco Opera, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, BASH, ANOTHER AMERICAN: ASKING AND TELLING, LOVE! VALOUR! COMPASSION!, PROPOSALS, THE MINEOLA TWINS, CORPUS CHRISTI, MIZLANSKY/ZILINSKY OR SCHMUCKS, BLUE WINDOW, GOD'S HEART, THE SANTALAND DIARIES, LILLIAN, SNAKEBIT, THREE HOTELS, IMAGINING BRAD and FAT MEN IN SKIRTS. As an actor he appeared in ANGELS IN AMERICA (Tony nomination) and THE BALTIMORE WALTZ. He is the recipient of the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Helen Hayes, Clarence Derwent, Obie and Joe A. Callaway awards. He is a member of Naked Angels and an associate artist at the Roundabout.

 

Christopher Johnson as Crumpet and Kristi Loera as Jocelyn in THE SANTALAND DIARIES and SEASON'S GREETINGS TO OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY!!! at Live Theatre Workshop

ABOUT THE ARTISTS

Christopher Johnson (Crumpet) is the Artistic Director of Etcetera at Live Theatre Workshop where he has directed SAY YOU LOVE SATAN, ROBOTS VS. FAKE ROBOTS, KILLER JOE, Richard O’Brien’s THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW, DANNY AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, THE PENIS MONOLOGUES, SAVAGE IN LIMBO, BUG, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and TITUS ANDRONICUS. Notable roles with Etcetera include Christopher (THE EATING DISORDER TALENT SHOW), George (MR. MARMALADE), Kitty Kitty Kitty (KITTY KITTY KITTY), Hedwig (HEDWIG AND THE ANGRY INCH - 2009 Arizona Daily Star MAC Award Nomination for Best Actor), CB (DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD), The Young Man (SWEET EROS) and Joshua (CORPUS CHRISTI). He has previously appeared on the Mainstage at LTW as Betty/Gerry (CLOUD 9), Alan (LEMON SKY), Daisy (BABY WITH THE BATHWATER), Traughton (RUN FOR YOUR WIFE) and Christopher Wren (THE MOUSETRAP). Christopher has performed elsewhere with Winding Road Theater Ensemble (ARMOR), Fairbanks Shakespeare Theatre (ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, CAMINO REAL), Invisible Theatre (SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS), Brachiate Theatre Project (MACBETH), 1984 Theatre (WAITING FOR GODOT), Old Pueblo Playwrights (THUMBS) and Tucson’s Shakespeare Under The Stars (MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, ROMEO & JULIET). Christopher is currently directing the upcoming Etcetera production of MY NAME IS RACHEL CORRIE.

 

Kristi Loera (Jocelyn Dunbar) has been acting in Tucson for 17 years and was last seen performing in the Winding Road Theater Ensemble Production of Toni Press-Coffman’s ARMOR (Marylou). She is the Executive Director of Live Theatre Workshop, where she has appeared on the Mainstage in productions of WIFE BEGINS AT FORTY, PICNIC, THE UNEXPECTED GUEST, THE HOUSEKEEPER, LEMON SKY, DESIGN FOR MURDER, DANCING AT LUGHNASA, PRIVATE LIVES, THE LAST NIGHT OF BALLYHOO, CHAPTER TWO, CAUGHT IN THE NET, DEARLY DEPARTED, I HATE HAMLET, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, DEATHTRAP, SYLVIA, RUN FOR YOUR WIFE (Arizona Daily Star MAC Award Nomination for Best Actress), BABY WITH THE BATHWATER and THE HEIDI CHRONICLES, to name a few. Kristi also recently directed the Etcetera production of MR. MARMALADE and the Family Theatre production of RAPUNZEL. Notable roles with Etcetera include Mother (THE EATING DISORDER TALENT SHOW), Sharla (KILLER JOE) and Agnes (BUG).

 

Michael Martinez (Director) was last seen with the Mainstage at Live Theatre Workshop serving as Assistant Director for LOST IN YONKERS and performing in the productions of I DO! I DO! and BLACK COFFEE. Michael is the Co-Coordinator of LTW’s Family Theatre for children where he has directed, written and composed music for MI NANA Y QUETZALCOATL - LA SERPIENTE EMPLUMADA, LITTLE FRIDA AND HER MAGIC PAINTBRUSH, THE SNOW MAIDEN and OSO FUERTE. Michael has also appeared in the Etcetera productions of MR. MARMALADE (Larry), Richard O’Brien’s THE ROCKY HORROR SHOW (Dr. Scott), KITTY KITTY KITTY (Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty) and THE PENIS MONOLOGUES (Ensemble).

 

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