Norm Foster’s The Christmas Tree: Pure Holiday Joy

MORRISBURG – One man. One woman. One lone Christmas tree left on the lot on Christmas eve. And one joyous Christmas play about two lonely people who just might get to share a magical moment – if they don’t get into a fist fight first.

Norm Foster’s hilarious, insightful one-act play, ‘The Christmas Tree,’ is returning to Stone Crop Acres Winery for two weekends this December, re-staged by last year’s outstanding performers, Scott Veinotte and Kate Egan Veinotte.

In 2021, their company, acting like kids, mounted the production at the Winery, with the group Lost at the Junction providing great music, as part of a fundraiser for Upper Canada Playhouse. Playhouse artistic director Donnie Bowes originally directed the couple (who were performing together on stage for the first time). Audiences were enchanted with the production and as Kate Veinotte put it, “We were having a blast. Nothing could stop us.”

Nothing, that is, but new mandated COVID restrictions, which abruptly forced the cancellation of the final weekend, and left the actors, the crew, Marc and Norene of Stone Crop Acres and eager audiences, very sadly disappointed. Yet, despite the early shut down, ‘The Christmas Tree’ still managed to raise $4,000 for the Playhouse’s Get On With the Show campaign.

However, the wait is over. Kate and Scott are bringing Foster’s ‘The Christmas Tree’ back to the Winery, a perfect setting, for weekend performances December 9th ,11th, 16th and 17th .

The “whole gang” will be joining them for this exciting return, including outstanding musicians Lost at the Junction. Donnie Bowes is stepping in to supervise a ‘touch up’ of the new production, or, as Kate Veinotte laughed, “to hang the tinsel on the tree.” This year, with so many just coming out of COVID uncertainty, and Christmas only weeks away, the company has decided to donate a portion of the proceeds from the shows to Community Food Share. Donation boxes will also be set up at the Winery – in hopes of making this a great Christmas for local families in need.

I talked to Kate and Scott about ‘The Christmas Tree.’

“We actually discussed doing a different show this time,” Scott said, “perhaps another Foster one-act play, ‘Winter Wonderland.’ But then we talked to Donnie and he said to do ‘The Christmas Tree’ again, because it is such a fun show. And the truth is, we didn’t really get this show out of our systems: we really wanted to do it again ourselves.”

“We love playing the characters,” Kate said. “This is such a great comedy, almost an anti-Romance with two lonely, crusty people trying ‘not’ to get together. However, on Christmas eve, it just might be that love conquers all.”

The show has a very strong audience appeal, with its likeable, recognizable characters. Even as they laugh at the clever, funny Foster dialogue, and the determinedly scrapping man and woman, audiences may find themselves secretly hoping that “in the end, just maybe…”

Lost at the Junction, Lauren Casselman and Tom Henbest, are returning with wonderful, and special Christmas music. Marc Gervais and Norene Hyatt-Gervais of Stone Crop Acres, who have been great supporters of the whole production, are delighted to welcome people to this unique Winery event, with food also available at some of the shows. “I think we are even more excited to do the show this time around,” said Kate Egan-Veinotte, “and so happy to be back at the Winery. It’s going to be a joy to perform.”

Norm Foster’s ‘The Christmas Tree’ at Stone Crop Acres, presented by acting like kids, is a story filled with laughs and Christmas spirit. Don’t miss it.

See advertisement on page 6 for dates, times and ticket information.

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