The performers from Many Hats Theatre Co. will be topping off the 2015 season with a holiday comedy – Dashing Through the Snow.
The play was written by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, who also wrote Christmas Belles, which was performed at Many Hats in 2012.
“Christmas Belles was a huge success for us, and we haven’t done a Chistmas-specific play since and it felt like time to do one again,” said director Erik Hanston. “That play revolved around the Futrelle sisters, who also make an appearance in Dashing Through the Snow.”
Returning actor Colleen Fox, who was casted as a Futrelle sister in Christmas Belles, said Dashing Through the Snow needs no pretext.
“It’s not a show where you have to have seen the last one to understand these characters or know what they’re about,” Fox said, adding that she feels most comfortable in comedy acting.
Taking on the role of Twink Futrelle, Fox said she’ll be playing a very stubborn character whose objective is to help her sister get married.
“Twink Futrelle believes that it can be very hard to get married,” Fox said. “It took her decades to get a man to walk down the isle with her, so she’s quite convinced that if a man is going to take that step with you, you have to get it to happen fast before he changes his mind.”
Much like Christmas Belles, Dashing Through the Snow takes place in the Southern USA during present era.
There’s no central story to Dashing Through the Snow as each of the four acts tell a new tale, though they’re all tied together by their setting, the Snowflake Inn in Tinsil, Tex., and the innkeeper is the only reoccurring character. It covers the relationships of a “whack of crazy characters” who stay at the hotel in the days leading up to Christmas, Hanston said.
“Christmas is always supposed to be a time of joy and happiness and everybody getting along,” he said. “In each storyline that’s ultimately what ends up happening, but not without hitting a few bumps along the way.”
Each story, or act, takes place in the four days leading up to Christmas, with act one taking place four days before Christmas and the final story wrapping up on Christmas eve.
Hanston wasn’t originally planning to act in the play but circumstances drew him in.
“It’s more a matter of necessity, but I am an actor and any chance you get to go on stage you should relish and have fun with,” he said. “It’s a little tricky being the director in theatre (when you’re acting as well), you’re walking the high wire without a net.”
He said the “solid” cast is very experienced and talented, and will be recognized by audiences of past Many Hats productions.
The only new cast member is Dashing Through the Snow is Kim Russell. Russell, who’s in her 50s, said she’s always wanted to be involved with Many Hats, and it wasn’t until a major career change last year that she was able to make the time.
“One can reinvent themselves at anytime and get into something they love,” she said, adding that she’s been casted in another production in 2016. “I anticipate that it’s an ongoing adventure to be involved with Many Hats. It’s a great bunch of people and it’s lots of fun. I love the opportunity to entertain people, make them laugh, and that’s why I’m here.”
Dashing Through the Snow will show at 8 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday between Nov. 12 and Dec. 5 at 8 p.m., as well as a 2 p.m. manitees on Sundays. Tickets cost $22 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and can be purchased at the Wine Country Visitors Centre, or by calling 250-276-2170.