ARTS CORNER: Cookies and comedy … Christmas our way at Shadbolt

John Murphy stars in Hotel Bethlehem.  - Tim Matheson/Contributed
John Murphy stars in Hotel Bethlehem.
— image credit: Tim Matheson/Contributed

Christmas is a special time of year filled with lots of gold, frankincense and myrrh. These were the gifts of the three wise men, so the story goes, and part of what we know to be a Christmas tradition. By definition, tradition is about handing something down—beliefs, legends, stories and customs from one generation to another.

Today, these traditions may include preparing special meals or gathering with family and friends; fun and unique gift exchanges between colleagues or siblings; rules about tree selection and trimming; certain activities or events occurring on specific days or at specific times and volunteering or supporting others who are in need.

At the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts we would like to offer you an opportunity to be part of our holiday tradition this year by participating in a couple of our upcoming Christmas activities.

On Dec. 6 is the 17th year of the Seasonal Celebration, a Shadbolt Christmas tradition. Families of all ages can enjoy an evening of free performances, hands-on activities and entertainment.

Make a holiday card or door swag, decorate a gingerbread cookie and see performances of the Christmas Carol and much more. All festivities start at 5:30 p.m.

If decorating gingerbread cookies is not your thing, perhaps you’ll be more intrigued by the real story of what actually happened at the Inn that fateful night? Hotel Bethlehem, by award-winning Vancouver playwright Drew McCreadie, offers another nativity story interpretation, and through satire and insightful humanity playfully poses the question, “what if the men who defined history were... idiots?”

The play then follows that line of thought to a conclusion that includes a Godless universe wherein the Lamb of God is literally just a lamb, and the assertion that we need to forfeit our deepest fears in order to embrace compassion for each other in the brief time that we have left in our lives.

Hotel Bethlehem is presented by Ruby Slippers Theatre in partnership with the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, and returns Dec. 12-15.

Be prepared to laugh for two full hours as farce meets satire meets holiday fare. We hope it will become part of your Christmas tradition this year.

For ticket information and all things Shadbolt visit shadboltcentre.com.

• Geraldine Parent is arts services manager at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts.



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