JCCT announces its Christmas play

Jackson County Community Theatre will present the Christmas play “A Gift to Remember” on Dec. 2, 3, 4, 9 and 10 at Royal Off-the-Square Theatre in Brownstown.

The play is based on the book “Can This Be Christmas” by Debbie Macomber and adapted for the stage by Joseph Robinette.

On Christmas Eve during a snowstorm, a group of strangers traveling to Boston finds themselves stranded in a train station in rural New Hampshire, which has been shut down due to a snowstorm and mechanical problems. Many of the passengers hope to take flights from Boston to their Christmas destinations. The disappointed and dispirited travelers try to make the best of a bad situation with little success.

As they get to know one another, however, they come to realize the true spirit of Christmas can be found among strangers and the memory of this night will be a “gift to remember.”

Travelers stranded in the train station include a couple (played by Peggy Rein and Mark Nolting) on their way to greet the arrival of their first grandchild; a newly widowed grandmother (played by Joyce Corya) on her way to spend Christmas with her family; a divorced mother (played by MaryAnna Moore) and her young daughter (played by Elin Dick) who is afraid Santa won’t be able to find her on his overnight delivery; a married couple (played by Leanne Hanson and Kyle Kieser) with their 5-week-old adopted daughter; a software salesman played (played by John Boyken) who departed on his work trip after a bitter argument with his wife; and a young Navy seaman (played by Derrick Maxie) with an engagement ring in his pocket anxious to reach his hometown sweetheart.

The station master is played by Tom Oktavec. The Baptist church choir director (played by Nathan Parker) and three choir members stop by the station to bring some Christmas cheer to the stranded passengers. Recipients of calls from the station (conducted on pay phones in this pre-cellphone era) are played by Destiny Long, Cinda Burris and Karen Haas, who also appear as choir members.

The production team consists of Joel McGill, director; Sarah McGill production manager; Paul Keller, light and sound technician; and the “Joe Crew” — Bradley, Reynolds and McGill — who have briefly come out of retirement to build the set.

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec 2, 3, 9 and 10, and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 4. Tickets may be purchased online through the JCCT website, jcct.org, or in person at Artistic Impressions in Seymour and Ewing Unique Boutique in Brownstown. They also may be purchased by calling 812-358-5228. Ticket prices are $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and students.