This production is dedicated to everyone in the medical profession, from those working diligently to find a vaccine, to those working tirelessly in hospitals.
Enjoy songs sung by local musicians, intertwined with holiday stories read by ELTC performers in the comfort of your home. Performers were safely filmed separately at the Cape May Presbyterian Church where the company is in residence, then artistic director Gayle Stahlhuth edited the clips together for this 80-minute holiday treat. There's nothing like being on a stage performing, even if there isn't an audience. The fun thing about watching a show at home, however, is that viewers can pause, go backwards, forwards, and even use Closed Caption.
The storytellers are familiar to ELTC audiences. Stephanie Garrett is a popular reader for "Tales of the Victorians" and ELTC productions include "Lost on the Natchez Trace." Her story for "Yuletide Tales" is "Mirama's Christmas Test" by A. Thomas Fortune. It's about a marriage proposal.
James Rana and Gayle Stahlhuth were in ELTC's recent production of "Nothing Matters." His tale is "Letter from Santa Claus" by Mark Twain, which is an actual letter he wrote to his 3-year old daughter, Susie. In "A Great Tree," by Zona Gale, Calliope Marsh figures out how Friendship Village can have a Christmas for everyone. It's read by Gayle.
Susan Tischler, who will be in ELTC's upcoming production of "Born Yesterday" and is currently ELTC's storyteller on Cape May MAC's "Ghosts of Christmas Trolley Rides," is reading "Old Applejoy's Ghost" by Frank R. Stockton. It's about a ghost who wants his relatives now living in his old home, to have a big Christmas celebration like he used to have.
Usually, this time of year, Barry and Susan Tischler present "Barry's Cape May Opry" at West Cape May Borough Hall, in which all the proceeds support the West Cape May Christmas Parade. Due to the pandemic, neither the "Opry" nor the parade is happening this year, but Barry, with Tom Naglee on the fiddle, perform "Silver Bells" and "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" for "Yuletide Tales." They've been entertaining at local restaurants, outside.
Lelah and Jay Eppenbach, known as the singing duo, the Honeyhawks, are also school teachers, navigating this tricky time of working with students during a pandemic. They performed at West Cape May's Farmers' Market and other places this summer. Their songs are "I'll Be Home for Christmas," and "Winter Wonderland."
Will Knapp serenaded his neighborhood when the pandemic began and has been performing outside at local venues. Holly Knapp, usually to be seen performing on a variety of stages in South Jersey, is the co-host of the true crime/comedy podcast "We Would Be Dead." They joined together to sing "Jingle Bells" and "It's that Time of Year."
This virtual production is possible due to funding from NJTA's Stages Festival 2020. Major funding for the Festival was provided by Bank of America, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, OceanFirst Foundation, George A. Ohl, Jr. Trust, New Jersey Historical Commission, Fund for New Jersey Blind, and New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.