Gifts of the Season from Island Stage Left

Two Christmas Shows from Island Stage Left! Opening December 14th at the San Juan County Fairgrounds

Island Stage Left offers islanders two holiday shows this year!


Less than a week after our fall play, “The Children,” ends on December 8, we will start presenting “Christmas Memories” and “Omnium Gatherum”, up to (and including) two shows on Christmas Eve.


“They’re both such popular shows, we thought since we didn’t have a Christmas show last year perhaps we would give people a choice,” says ISL director Helen Machin-Smith.

The two shows mix live music, stories and poetry, but in entirely different ways. Now is the time to catch them both! All performances will be at the Marie Boe Building, San Juan County Fairgrounds.


Island Stage Left’s “Christmas Memories” and “Omnium Gatherum” will run on different nights in the Marie Boe Building at the San Juan County Fairgrounds, December 14-24.

All shows at 7:30 EXCEPT: Sunday shows at 4pm, and December 24 shows at 4pm and 6:30 pm.
Reservations required and available for December 24th only:

Free admission to all shows. Donations appreciated.

“Christmas Memories,” takes the audience to a small town in Wales, and a child’s view of the winter world a hundred years ago. It incorporates parts of  “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” with other stories and reminiscences. The writing of Dylan Thomas (performed by Daniel Mayes) sets the tone: “All the Christmases roll down toward the two-tongued sea, and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.” This year’s show brings Penelope Haskew’s delightful voice to join Daniel Mayes in glittering and nostalgic music interwoven with the Dylan Thomas story. “What I love most about this show is the way the language transports us – it’s colorful and evocative and unusual – and the music is a real voice from the past, from those days,” says Machin-Smith. It’s guaranteed to send you home smiling -  with the words still humming in your head. (Shows December 14, 15, 19, 21, 23)


“Omnium Gatherum” is a different kettle of fish entirely! “From the ridiculous to the sublime” Machin-Smith calls it. The name itself is a fanciful fake-Latin phrase that means “hodgepodge, pastiche, smorgasbord, farrago” – but this farrago is really a carefully planned mix of music, poetry, anecdotes and stories that gently, often comically, work their way into your heart.

The show evolves: Machin-Smith is always looking for new pieces to add: “They have to work dramatically! I want a wide selection of materials, for all ages, religious or non-religious, totally inclusive. I like a balance of things that are nostalgic, things that make people think, and others that make people laugh. Unusual things that you don’t usually associate with a Christmas program,” she says. A disastrous Christmas cake monologue by an elderly lady in the UK was found on YouTube. Other pieces can include Kenneth Grahame or Maya Angelou by way of Garrison Keillor, a snippet of Harry Potter or the true story of the Christmas truce in the trenches during the first World War. This Christmas concoction is clever, comic and touching.  (Shows December 18, 20, 22, 24)

Admission is free. Donations are appreciated.

For more information and showtimes see our Current Show page.



"Superb as always"


"I saw the show Sunday evening. It was spectacular! Really professional, top quality acting from all.”


"After seeing the play last night I've decided that ‘A Winter's Tale’ is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. I love the way we are dropped into the height of paranoia and supreme tragedy, and like a fairy tale we are lifted out and into a world where laughter reigns and beings make peace. Thank you for a most inspiring evening.”

“Just wanted to let you know how very much we enjoyed ‘A Winter's Tale.’”