FREEPORT, ILLINOIS — Help FHS Thespians collect food donations for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative and ring in the Christmas season. FHS hosts Christmas Memories, a collection of humorous and heartwarming songs and stories. Guests should bring food donations for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative, which needs plenty of food to keep up with our community’s need for non-perishable food items.
Directors Becky and Tim Connors describe Christmas Memories as “our homemade Christmas card for the community. Becky searches high and low for holiday stories that she can turn into scripts. Our stories have been inspired by comic strips, clothing catalogues, magazines, classic literature, and lots of children’s books.” For the sixth time, Christmas Memories is presented by FHS Thespians at Freeport High School, and ticket sales will support college scholarships for those students.
FSD 145 staff and family members LaFrancine Baker; Jody and Gary Brubaker; Becky, Henry, and Tim Connors; Olive Peterson; Derek Simons; and Laura Stocker make up the cast. Robert Winter is the technical director. Laura Stocker comments, “Being a part of Christmas Memories is my favorite way to kick off the holiday season. No matter who you are, Christmas stories and songs remind us of the magic of possibilities. My favorite thing about being part of the show is spending time with friends who are like family. We’re all teachers and, for some strange reason, all a little bit dramatic at times. We have the best time putting this special show together each year!”
Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, and Snoopy share some holiday wisdom for the first time this year. This year’s show highlights two new scripts by Freeport natives. Gary Brubaker and Matt Bruheler have each written new stories for this year’s show: The Christmas Quest (Brubaker) and We Three Kids (Bruehler). About his original work, Brubaker remarks, “Christmas Memories reminds me of those days before iPads, cell phones, and YouTube when entertainment was for the whole family and contained less glitz and more heart. So, the pieces I wrote are an attempt to conjure up some memories of those simpler, and, often, more heartfelt Christmas experiences.” Traditional favorites such as A Visit from St. Nicholas (with a new twist) by Clement C. Moore and How the Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss return to the stage. This year’s program also features Mrs. Greenberg’s Messy Hanukkah, Redheaded Rachel’s Christmas Story, and Baboushka.
Music is an important part of the Christmas Memories joy. The cast will sing a variety of holiday tunes from traditional carols like Here Comes Santa Claus, Deck the Halls, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas, to jazzier standards like Frank Sinatra’s hit Mistletoe and Holly (performed by Tim Connors), Santa Baby (made famous by Eartha Kitt and performed now by Laura Stocker), and The Christmas Waltz (sung by Derek Simons). Gary Brubaker has also written a new song for Christmas Memories, called My Christmas Letter. He and his wife Jody will sing it. LaFrancine Baker sings a heartfelt and poignant song called Sweet Little Jesus Boy. The cast also sings Do They Know It’s Christmas. In addition to vocals, the program features piano, guitar, flute, and clarinet. It’s the perfect way to start the holiday season for adults and children.
Tickets cost just $5 plus a non-perishable food donation for the Freeport Area Church Cooperative. To purchase tickets, call the Freeport High School business office at 232-0428. Please park in the west parking lot at Freeport High School to get to the Studio Theater in room 228.
Event: Christmas Memories
Where: Freeport High School Studio Theater (Room 228)
When: Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, December 12-14, at 7 p.m.