Christmas Presence Dec 8-9 to benefit Stephen’s Backpacks

November 2, 2018

Following our hit production of Every Brilliant Thing which opened Live Five Theatre’s season last month, Burnt Thicket Theatre now presents Christmas Presence. A unique mashup of stories and songs that explores the nativity with a messy but joyful hope, this benefit performance for Stephen’s Backpacks is playing the evenings of December 8 on the west side and December 9 on the east side. Everyone is welcome, including kids, plus hot cider and desserts!

Featuring the acting of Tim Bratton, the company’s Artistic Associate who was recently seen in Pride and Prejudice at Persephone Theatre; Wanita Bird who performed in Gordon Tootoosis Nīkānīwin Theatre’s 2017 world premiere Dominion; Artistic Director Stephen Waldschmidt, who appeared in Persephone’s The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui; Geordie Cowan and Brendan Andrews. Christmas Presence will feature the music of local recording artists Becky Thomas (awarded Best Female Artist at the 2011 Native American Music Awards), Wyndham Thiessen, Wanita Bird (recipient of 2017 Indigenous Music Award for her album Water Is Life), and GTNT’s Circle of Voices youth ensemble.

Bratton and Waldschmidt have both worked at Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre, whose annual Christmas Presence tradition inspired them. “We’ve produced this event for the last three years in Saskatoon,” says Waldschmidt, “We’re thrilled to offer it again as a Burnt Thicket production.” Waldschmidt adds that each year the show is a completely new combination of material reflecting on the season, “This is an evening of readings and songs with friends. There’s minimal rehearsal—we’re here to celebrate, build community and support kids in need in our city.”

Christmas Presence performance details:

December 8 at 7:30pm, Studio 914, 914 20th St W, Saskatoon.

December 9 at 7:30pm, College Park Covenant Church, 909 Acadia Dr, Saskatoon.

Admission by suggested donation of $10 and/or a new stuffie for Stephen’s Backpacks to support kids in need in Saskatchewan.

Stuffed animals and dessert donations will go towards Stephen’s Backpacks, which gives backpacks with school supplies and Christmas gifts to homeless children or kids at risk of homelessness in the Saskatoon area. Stephen McPhee, a Calgary boy with autism and a passion to help homeless kids in his city, started the society in 2008 and Becky Thomas is their Saskatoon coordinator. Admission donations will go towards the company’s future productions, including a western Canada tour of Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan Macmillan, with Jonny Donahoe, featuring Jenna-Lee Hyde.

Download a Christmas Presence poster to print & hang in your neighbourhood!

See photos by Dave Stobbe from last year’s performance.

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