The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

December 13, 2012

Children's holiday show in Windber and Altoona


— Christmas enchantment will be coming to two regional venues for the holiday season.

“Santa’s Enchanted Workshop” will be presented by Theatre IV at 2 p.m. Sunday at Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Ave., Windber, and at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Mishler Theater, 1208 12th Ave., Altoona.

The children’s play is the story of two children who set out on a journey to the North Pole to find out if Santa is real.

It is part of the Coal-ala Bear Series for Children at the Arcadia and the Blair County Arts Foundation’s 2012 Family Theater at the Mishler.

“It’s geared for children in kindergarten through Grade 5, but there are subtle jokes for the adults,”  said Gordon Bass, tour manager for Theatre IV, which is a division of Virginia Repertory Theater.

Little sister SuSu is a believer, but big brother Stanley isn’t so sure.

“Stanley makes SuSu quite perturbed,” Bass said. “Trapped in an unexpected blizzard, they lose their way and wind up in a dilapidated gas station run by a mysterious old man named Nick.”

After the children tell him their problem, Nick convinces them the gas station is Santa’s Workshop No. 63, and he is Santa.

“They end up learning through their imaginations as Christmas magic lights up the garage and they get to play with Nick’s toys,” Bass said.

“Nick helps Stanley’s faith to be restored. The kids remind us that it’s not about gifts. Important but simple faith makes life magic.”

There are five or six songs in the 53-minute production, which the cast performs numerous times in schools.

The original book as well as music and lyrics for the play are by Richard Giersch, with additional lyrics by Bruce Craig Miller.

“We’ve been in every state east of the Mississippi and eight states beyond,” Bass said.

“These guys go out after Thanksgiving and have their last gig Dec. 21. They’re young people who have their degrees in theater and performance.”

If you go ...

What: “Santa’s Enchanted Workshop.”

When: 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Arcadia Theater, 1418 Graham Ave., Windber.

Tickets: $6.

Information: 467-9070.

What: “Santa’s Enchanted Workshop.”

When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Mishler Theater, 1208 12th Ave., Altoona.

Tickets: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors and $5.50 for children.



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