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Winter 2019 - Holiday Traditions

Gifts of the Season from Island Stage Left

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.

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.

Further information: (360) 378-5649

“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)



Since Island Stage Left offers all its performances free of charge, we do not sell tickets or take reservations (unless you are a member of the Star Circle), although donations are always appreciated and are essential to the longevity of the company.


Seating is on a first come, first served basis and arriving at least 15 minutes early is always a good idea especially for the indoor shows.


In the summer, our outdoor performances have chairs set up, and also space for you to bring your own chairs if you prefer, plus space for blankets and sleeping bags close to the stage.


The request to bring warm clothes and blankets is to keep you warm, as the temperature can drop 20 degrees on some summer nights.
We look forward to seeing you!

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