Another Santa Diaries Production Ends

Goodbye to Liberty Showcase Theatre

Below is the cast and crew of The LIberty Showcase Theatre’s production of The Santa Diaries. It was a wonderful show. Laura and I hope they were as happy with the production as we were.



In this production there were a number of hiccups. One was replacing the person who was to play Josh two weeks before the show opened. Although this is a male role, the person who already knew most of the lines was the female music director who heroically stepped in to fill Josh’s size twelves. Josh became JoJo and there was some hurried rewriting of the final scene in which Will calls Brandeee in the middle of the night and Josh answers. Did we want JoJo to be in Brandeee’s bedroom in the middle of the night? This was a family show, after all. Even having Josh in her bedroom was a bit of a stretch, but lines were finessed and everything worked out just fine.

The snow/sleet/rain hiccup on the show’s last weekend was more problematic. The Liberty Theatre website home page was amended with the announcement: 12/14/2013 – It may be snowing outside, but the show must go on!! The Santa diaries will still be performed tonight at Glyndon United Methodist Church! Come out and get in the holiday spirit!!

People got the message and the cast performed to a full house. Last year at the Avalon Theatre the last show was on December 23. That was a burden on the cast and crew as it was so close to Christmas. The Liberty Showcase Theatre’s production ended on December 15 which gave people a little time to breathe before the last reindeer dash to the 25th. Laura was in the audience with her husband for the last performance. I was under the weather and couldn’t make it.

Liberty Showcase Thanks Us

At the last show Lori Chapman, the Assistant Director, gave Laura two wrapped packages. She brought them to me a few days later and we opened them together. They were framed photos of the cast and crew of the this production. We were thrilled. On the first Sunday performance Laura and I were given one of the posters signed by everyone. Mine will go on my Santa Diaries wall! We have felt very thanked and appreciated by Liberty Showcase Theatre. The are such a professional group. We’d love to work with them again.

Post Production

We need to know how the play could be tweaked to make it better. What could be done to make it easier to stage? Liberty had a cast of about 25 as opposed to the Avalon’s cast of 65+. Most of those additional people were children which is its own special challenge, but when writing for community theatre it’s good if the cast number has some flexibility. You want to be able to showcase especially talented people and need to plan for that. Laura and I will have a post production meeting with the Director, the Assistant Director and the Producer after the holidays so that we can make useful changes to the script and notes that would help with direction and staging.

Until then we send thanks and excellent Holiday Wishes to all the cast and crew.

What’s Next?

For now Laura and I are doing research on made-for-TV Christmas movies. We’ve watched eight so far and have twelve more in the line-up. We wanted to do this before we made the final tweaks on The Santa Diaries movie script. Is this a great job, or what?

Santa Diaries Update

The Play…

Yesterday afternoon I met Laura at her office and we had a Skype session with our manager, Margie Farmer. On Monday night Margie met with fifteen people from the Liberty Showcase Theatre group who are in discussion with us about producing The Santa Diaries this Christmas.

We were supposed to Skype with Margie on Tuesday, but couldn’t get through to her. I was worried. Turns out she was at the chiropractor’s office and today was Skyping from a recliner, her back on ice. When you Skype the video isn’t always synced with the audio, but being able to see the person you are talking to is so much better than a phone conversation.

Margie said she enjoyed meeting the theater team and we are all hoping it will work out. They are community theater all the way – sponsored by the Owings Mills Recreation and Parks Council of the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks.

This summer they performed Godspell.

Liberty showcase

Since our play is about the community created by community theater, Laura and I love the idea that this could be a true community production and collaboration.

For many years our manager, Margie Farmer, was the head of the Music Department at Baltimore’s St. Paul’s School for Girls. In that capacity she worked on and produced many plays. She has a wealth of experience that will help us. For example, she suggested  we prepare a Director’s Book which has the script, cast lists, music, staging suggestions, prop lists, and on and on. In future we can sell this to the people producing the play. She said she always bought the most complete Director’s Book available for any show she was doing and is going to send us examples.

After our Skype session Laura and I spent time on line where we found the same Marley dog costume the Avalon purchased for their production. This information will go in the Director’s Book. We liked the iconic look of the Dalmatian dog costume. It was big and bold on stage and the costume was only $125. Even a small theater can afford that.


The Movie…

Our movie script for The Santa Diaries has been revised using all the terrific suggestions we got from our script consultant Dara Marks during out four hour phone consultation last month. Next week it goes back to Dara again and on August 14th we have our final consultation. Then we spend more time tweaking. In the meantime Laura has been researching where and how to send the script. The Santa Diaries will live on.