Trustus Theatre is producing three world premiere shows on their Main Stage this season, and the first of these exciting productions is finally here: A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall. This show by Columbians and for Columbians opens on the Trustus Theatre’s Thigpen Main Stage on Friday, December 1 and runs through Saturday, December 16, 2017. Shows run Wednesday through Sunday for three packed weeks. Tickets may be purchased at www.trustus.org, or by calling the Trustus Box Office at 803-254-9732.
Trustus Theatre’s resident sketch comedy and improv troupe, The Mothers, have created an original piece that just might become a holiday staple here in Columbia! The Richland Fashion Mall lies dormant during another holiday season that should be bustling with shoppers and children jumping on Santa’s lap. This year is particularly hard, and the owner of the resident Christmas store is going to need a real miracle to keep her livelihood. Throw in visits from the owners of the glass figuring store next door (featuring Trustus Company member Gerald Floyd), uppity employees from the popular big-chain book store down the way, and hijinks involving many other wild and lovable mallrats—let’s just say that it’s beginning to look at lot like one crazy Christmas.
A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall is an original creation that was written by The Mothers (Kayla Cahill, Jennifer Hill, Amir Jenkins, Martha Hearn Kelly, Patrick Michael Kelly, Daniel Machado, Abigail McNeely, Mike Morales, Jonathan Monk, and Russell Sanders) and will be directed by Trustus Company Member and member of The Mothers, Abigail McNeely.
“I was having some difficulty finding the right production for the Holidays here at Trustus,” said Artistic Director Chad Henderson. “I knew that I wanted something fun, but didn’t want to revive any of the productions we had produced over the past four years.” Henderson suspected that The Mothers might provide the answer to this search for a new Holiday comedy. He met with Martha Kelly, director of The Mothers, and that conversation has since developed into the play that will be revealed on December 1st. “It’s an important part of our mission to produce original works. This season, we’re producing three premieres. There’s something that’s so rewarding about staging original works, especially when they’re created on the ground floor by South Carolinians. A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall is a big step in a great artistic direction for the theatre. I think Columbia will be proud when it supports new work.”
The show’s director, Trustus Company Member Abigail McNeely, expounds upon how the show is local, homegrown, and will be familiar to Columbia audiences. “The number one reason someone should see this play is this: this play is quintessentially Christmas, quintessentially Columbia, and quintessentially Trustus. There’s so much Christmas spirit in the show—there’s Santa, cookies, and a big Christmas reveal. It is also full of little hidden gems that those audience members from the area will identify with in a second—mentions of a famous meat-and-three plate and The Nickelodeon are two that stand out to me. Plus, this show is perfect for Trustus because it is a brand new work. Trustus has always been dedicated to producing new, modern works and this is no different. This is proof that new work doesn’t have to come from New York or Chicago—it can be created right here in Columbia, too!”
Stay after the shows on Friday, December 8 and on Friday, December 15 to enjoy a comedy show from the very same group that is bringing you A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall: The Mothers. Tickets for the comedy show will be sold at the door for $10 ($5 for students) and are all general admission.
“It’s a Mothers overload,” McNeely said. “Our December 8th show is our improv show and everything is made up on the spot. We take suggestions from the audience for this one, so they get to be a part of it too. The December 15th show is our sketch show, where each of [The Mothers] have submitted scripts for the sketches. It’s so much fun to put together a show with so many different types of sketches, plus it’s like getting to watch Saturday Night Live live and there’s a bar! Come laugh with us!”
A Christmas Miracle at the Richland Fashion Mall will run from Friday, December 1 – Saturday, December 16, 2017 and tickets are on sale now. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Trustus Theatre Box Office at 803-254-9732 or online at trustus.org. Opening night is Friday, December 1, at 8pm. The performances following are on Saturday, December 2, at 8pm; Sunday, December 3, at 3pm; Wednesday, December 6, at 7:30pm; Thursday, December 7, at 7:30pm; Friday, December 8, at 8pm; Saturday, December 9, at 8pm; Sunday, December 10, at 3pm; Wednesday, December 13, at 7:30pm; Thursday, December 14, at 7:30pm; Friday, December 15, at 8pm; and Saturday, December 16, at 8pm. A Talk-Back with cast and panelists will follow the performance on December 10.