Cap Rep brings \Christmas Story to the stage

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany has announced their holiday presentation of A Christmas Story " the stage version of the film based on the stories of Jean Shepherd " will begin with a pay-what-you-will performance on Black Friday, Nov. 26, and public performances will run through Jan. 2, 2011.

The classic story, set in 1948 is the tale of eleven-year-old Ralphie Parker's quest to persuade Santa and his parents that he should get the official Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas " despite his mother's worry that he'll "shoot his eye out."

Directing the production is Capital Repertory Theatre's Producing-Artistic Director Maggie Mancinelli-Cahill who has assembled a veritable cornucopia of locally based professional and child actors " including local Equity player Yvonne Perry (Ralphie's mother) and her daughter Josie Hulbert (Betsy), a 5th grader at Loudonville Elementary School.

"At the heart of this story are the kids. You have to have an ensemble of child actors who are professional and disciplined who can still embody childhood innocence," said Mancinelli-Cahill. "It took us 3 months to cast this play, and it was rewarding to see that 5 of the 9 young actors selected are alumni of our own programs."

The lead role of Ralphie Parker will be played by Aaron Leslie Steck who is in 7th grade at Shaker Junior High School. His recent credits include "Arty" in Lost in Yonkers (Theater Voices), "Richie" in 13 the Musical at Capital Area Productions (CAPS), "Pigpen" in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, "Frankenguest" in Dear Edwina, and "Ensemble" in Camp (Debuts Theater).

Steck is joined by a host of area child actors all of whom have a variety of experiences in school, community theatre and professional regional theatre productions. Several of the young actors became known to Capital Rep through their Summer Theatre at the Rep (STAR) summer program.

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