Norm Foster’s The Christmas Tree at the Winery for the benefit of UCP

MORRISBURG – A deserted tree lot on the evening of December 24. One solitary Christmas tree left. Two lonely people who both want it…

Noted playwright Norm Foster’s setting for a very special night. And a very special holiday play.

Foster’s delightful, funny, and touching one act seasonal play, The Christmas Tree, is coming to Stone Crop Acres Winery, presented by the production company, acting like kids. The show will run two weekends only on December 4-5, and December 18-19, for four shows.

The play stars Kate Egan-Veinotte and Scott Veinotte as the duo who both want that last little tree, and seem prepared to go to any lengths to win the ‘prize.’ To add to the audience’s pleasure, Upper Canada Playhouse artistic director, Donnie Bowes, is directing The Christmas Tree.

Kate and Scott (husband and wife in real life) are thrilled to be performing this Norm Foster holiday favourite. In particular, they are pleased that the proceeds from the run will be going to help support Upper Canada Playhouse’s fundraising campaign, “Help the Playhouse Get On with the Show!” which began early this spring.

Although the Playhouse is currently running a series of great shows, months of COVID shut downs and continuing restrictions have limited the size of audiences, considerably reducing theatre income. The Playhouse is grateful that its fundraising campaign has been supported since its initiation by the entire community and lovers of outstanding live plays and musicals,: however, on-going fundraising is still vital to the theatre’s future.

This special run of The Christmas Tree will, as the Veinottes hope, “raise Christmas spirits” while helping the Playhouse to continue to “get on with the show.”

“The Christmas Tree is a fast moving show,” said Scott Veinotte, who is also a founding member of the musical group Furious Gord. “It is probably more geared to adults, but I think it will will really put people in a holiday mood. And they can,” he laughed, “also raise some spirits at the Winery.”

“We’ve been working on the show for about three weeks now, rehearsing at the Playhouse and transferring soon to the Winery,” said Kate Egan-Veinotte, well known to audiences for her performances in such Playhouse hits as Steel Magnolias and Lunenburg. She is also the founder of acting like kids.

Although the entire Veinotte family is deeply connected to the performing arts (their three sons created the band Sons of Gord), this production will actually be the first time that Scott and Kate have worked together on the stage. “And it’s been surprisingly nice,” Scott immediately proclaimed with a laugh.

The setting for the play is very simple: just a back fence, one tree, an old barrel; “just what you’d expect in a lonely lot on Christmas eve after everyone has gone home,” said director Donnie Bowes. Bowes is thrilled to “be back in the rehearsal hall directing a production. And this is a great Norm Foster show,” he added, “commissioned in 2009 for the Lunch Box Theatre in Calgary, and well written like all Norm’s scripts. And it is such a pleasure to be working with Kate and Scott.”

The production has another pleasing addition. It will be “bookended” with live, and lively, music by Last at the Junction, two very talented musicians, Lauren Casselman and Tom Henbest.

Seating for The Christmas Tree at StoneCrop Acres Winery will be limited to 75 patrons only for each show. All COVID safety measures will be in place.

The Christmas Tree is coming to the Winery this December for four shows only. Don’t miss a delightful evening of warm and comical holiday theatre. Tickets can be booked on EventBrite.

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