Dartmouth High Theater Company readies for original holiday show

Nov 20, 2021

The student thespians at the Dartmouth High Theater Company are looking to bring some holiday cheer to the stage.

This year, the high school will stage a production of “Christmas in New England: A Holiday Music Review.”

The show, written by co-director Denis Lawrence, Jr. in 1991, consists of a series of vignettes set in different living rooms during the holiday season. 

Along with telling personal stories, the cast will also perform a collection of traditional holiday songs such as “White Christmas,” and “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.”

“It’s a real holiday romp — like the Radio City Music Hall ‘Christmas Spectacular,’” Lawrence said. “But there’s also a bit of a serious tone where we get into the meaning of Christmas and Hanukkah.” 

The director noted that throughout the show, cast members provide accounts of their own family traditions during the holidays — something the student actors said they really appreciated.

“We really have a lot of room to make things our own,” Senior Gabriela Reardon said. “It’s so different from the other shows we’ve done before — always fun to do something out of the norm.”

Fellow castmate, junior Lauren Lima, noted that on the script, those moments are left blank 

“It’s a very close experience,” she said. “Being able to do a show written by the man we’ve worked with for years is very nice.” 

Senior Aidan Finnigan is the stage manager for this year’s show. He said of all the productions he’s worked on his past four years in high school, “Christmas in New England” has involved the most work.

Finnigan noted that the bulk of the responsibility lies in working with pandemic-related rules, mostly choreographing with physical distance in-mind and getting the cast to sing loudly enough while wearing a mask.

“Even though there’s a lot of stress and responsibility — to see it turned into something big is just amazing,” he said. “I also work with a lot of great, young techies.” 

Lima added that while “it’s been a bit stressful” practicing with Covid guidelines still in place, she’s very excited to hit the stage soon with her cast and crew.

“We’re a family that relies on each other — and we’re doing pretty good right now,” she said.

Shows will be performed Dec. 2 and 3 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 4 at 1 and 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for students/seniors.

Masks will be required. 

To purchase tickets, visit DHStheatreco.com or call (508) 264-4279.