At holiday time, Kara Cardella has been an invaluable member of the Saline Area Players. This year, SAP will present Silent Night: The Real(ish) Story, which is the 9th annual Christmas show that Saline Area Players has presented, on the same weekend as SACC’s Christmas Parade. These shows are well-attended, prove a wonderful family activity, and are at a great bargain at $5 a ticket. Kara is directing – she has directed 8 of the 9 shows – AND she wrote this one (yet to be published). Saline Area Players premiered the play in 2013 and it was such a hit that the group is producing it a second time with a whole new cast. I caught up with Kara to get a little background.
* What prompted you to write this play?
I had been directing a Christmas show for SAP for a few years and I remember struggling to find the right show to fit our needs: one act, mix of adults and children, decent number of speaking roles, and my personal requirement: it have a strong moral. I was listening to an old Christmas album, John Denver and the Muppets. In it John Denver tells the story of a young Austrian priest writing a simple song for Christmas because their organ was broken. My imagination took over, to come up with why the organ was broken, and Silent Night: the Real(ish) Story was born!
* What should families look forward to seeing when they come?
In this show, the audience really gets to be part of the show! They are encouraged to sing along with the carols, most are well known, and there will be a number of audience participation moments. But, I hope they keep their ears open for the little "Easter eggs" I've scattered through the script, references to well-known musicals and holiday shows.
* What adaptations have you made to the play from the last time it was presented...and why?
I added a new character this year - Kurt, the head altar server! I had a young teenage boy who did a great job at auditions. But, I realized that while the show had a teenage girl role, there wasn't one for a boy. So, I created Kurt, and when I started to insert him here and there, a mini-romantic subplot developed which added even more charm to the show.
* What do you like most about directing these Christmas shows, given that this is the 8th one that you have directed?
My favorite part of directing is molding young actors, teaching them the difference between stage left and right, not breaking character, cheating out, etc. But the real reward for me is when they experiment with their character, broadening the resulting show from my expectation. I've given them the situation and when they claim it and let their imagination soar, everyone enjoys the show, audience, actors, director, everyone!
Come see SAP’s Silent Night: The Real(ish) Story. Show dates are November 30 & December 1 at 7:30 PM, December 2 at 1:00 & 3:00 PM, and December 3 at 3:00 PM. The play will be performed at Fifth Corner, 211 Willis Rd, Saline. Please note there are some stairs to reach the auditorium area. Seating is general admission. Tickets can be reserved in advance by emailing [email protected] or by calling 734-255-4388, or can be purchased at the door. Please pay with cash or check. Reserve your tickets soon - these shows have been known to sell out in the past! Additional information is on the website at www.salineareaplayers.org