ANN ARBOR – Theatre NOVA, Ann Arbor’s professional theatre with an exclusive focus on new plays and playwrights, presents “An Almost British Christmas” by Carla Milarch and R. MacKenzie Lewis.
This year, we’re updating the Panto that started it all with a romp through the frozen tundra of the North Pole, set on one famous foggy Christmas Eve. Kids ages 2 to 102 will delight in this rollicking musical theatre entertainment, complete with colorful holiday characters, dastardly villains, original tunes and parodies of popular songs, slapstick comedy, and audience participation (and candy!). This beloved Theatre NOVA tradition is fun for the entire family.
Directed by Carla Milarch, with music direction by R. MacKenzie Lewis, “An Almost British Christmas” features Bryana Hall, Dan Morrison, and Monica Spencer. The production and design team includes Monica Spencer (scenic design), Sam Schikora (lighting design), Genevieve Compton (costume design), Becky Fox (properties design), and Briana O’Neal (stage manager/props).
For the health, safety, and well-being of our patrons, staff, and artists, Theatre NOVA’s current COVID-19 policy requires patrons to present proof of vaccination and wear a mask while in the building. Children under 12 must be vaccinated or parents must present proof of negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within 48 hours of the performance start time. We are currently limiting our seating capacity to 60% to allow social distancing. This policy is subject to change at any time, following fluctuating local, state, and federal guidelines. Please check our current policy before your scheduled performance date at www.theatrenova.org.
Theatre NOVA is located at 410 W Huron St, Ann Arbor, MI 48103. Showtimes are 7:30 pm on Fridays, 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm on Saturdays, and 2:00 pm on Sundays. Additional performances on Wed., Dec. 22 and Thurs., Dec. 23 at 7:30 pm. On Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, the performance will begin at 6:00 pm. There will be no shows on Dec. 25 or Dec. 31. General admission tickets are $25 ($10 for kids 16 years and under.) In addition, Theatre NOVA continues to make theatre accessible by offering pay-what-you-can tickets for those who need them at all performances.
Tickets, memberships, flex passes, and subscriptions may be purchased online at www.TheatreNOVA.org. Tickets may also be purchased in person one hour before each performance. Seating in the theatre will begin 30 minutes before each performance. There is ample free parking, and quick access to the city’s restaurants, bars, bakeries, and coffee shops. New patrons can find Theatre NOVA across Huron Street from Ann Arbor’s YMCA, through a parking lot entrance on the north side of the street. For more information, visit www.TheatreNOVA.org.
Theatre NOVA is dedicated to raising awareness of the value and excitement of new plays and new playwrights in a diverse and expanding audience; and providing resources and outlets for playwrights to develop their craft, by importing, exporting, and developing new plays and playwrights. This activity is supported by the MICHIGAN COUNCIL FOR ARTS AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS.
Carla Milarch (Playwright/Director) is a former artistic director of Performance Network Theatre, whose passion for new plays led her to co-found Theatre NOVA. As a dramaturg and director, she has helped bring 25 brand new plays to fully-staged productions, as well as hundreds of plays to staged readings, including those at the Michigan Playwrights Festival, the Fireside New Play Festival, the NNPN National Showcase of New Plays (board member), and the Kennedy Center’s MFA playwrights’ workshop. She served as board president of the Michigan Equity Theatre Alliance. Some awards include “Best Overall Season/Artistic Direction” from the Oakland Press, “Outstanding Contributions to an Ensemble” from The Detroit Free Press, “Most Valuable Performer” from the Oakland Press, and the Between the Lines “Angel” award for outstanding contributions to the LGBT community. Carla’s love and experience for both sides of the stage have taken her from producing theatre at The Barn Theatre in Port Sanilac Michigan, to co-founding a theatre in Amarillo, TX with her Purchase classmates, to producing theatre in a barn again—this time in the middle of a world-class city.
R. MacKenzie Lewis (Music Director/Composer) is the composer/music director for Eastern Michigan University’s School of Communication, Media, and Theatre Arts and a lecturer and accompanist with the School of Music and Dance. Favorite projects outside of university life include music directing and orchestrating the National Tour and Off-Broadway premiere of “The Berenstain Bears Live! In Family Matters, the Musical”; “Titanic,” and “Gypsy” at the Hangar Theatre in New York (Broadway World Award, Best Music Direction); “A Little Night Music” at the Performance Network (Wilde Award, Best Music Direction); “Legally Blonde” at MSU (Pulsar Award, Best Music Direction); “Irrational” (Composer, Wilde Award, Best New Script); and “Romance in Hard Times” with William Finn at the Barrington Stage Co. He composed music for the shows “Wings of Ikarus,” “Jason Invisible,” and “Mockingbird” (two Helen Hayes nominations), all of which were commissioned and premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Lewis has also composed the musicals: “Video Games: The Rock Opera,” “Treasure Island,” “Pinocchio,” “An Almost British Christmas,” “Sugar Plum Panto,” “The Elves and the Schumachers,” and “Soaring on Black Wings,” a world premiere with Ben Vereen.
Director: Carla Milarch
Set design: Monica Spencer
Lighting design: Sam Schikora
Costume design: Genevieve Compton
Properties design: Becky Fox
Stage Management/Props: Briana O’Neal
Assistant Stage Manager: Cassie Kirchmeier
“An Almost British Christmas” by Carla Milarch and R. MacKenzie Lewis
Theatre NOVA, 410 W. Huron, Ann Arbor, MI 48103 Box office: 734-635-8450,
Tickets: $25 ($10 kids 16 and under) and pay-what-you-can tickets available
ON THE INTERNET:
AN ALMOST BRITISH CHRISTMAS by Carla Milarch and R. MacKenzie Lewis
December 3, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Fri., Dec. 3, 7:30 p.m. Opening Night
Sat., Dec. 4, 3:00 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 5, 2:00 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 10, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 11, 3:00 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 11, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 12, 2:00 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 17, 7:30 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 18, 3:00 p.m.
Sat., Dec. 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 19, 2:00 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.
Thurs., Dec. 23, 7:30 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 24, 6:00 p.m.
Sun., Dec. 26, 2:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 1, 3:00 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 1, 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 2, 2:00 p.m.