If you're looking for a nontraditional holiday show that still manages to emphasize the "reason for the season," Northwest Arkansas Audio Theater's "When Worlds Collide: A Christmas Detective Story" might be the perfect entertainment choice. Director Lynette Unger says the plot combines genres and time periods but doesn't neglect the details of the birth of Jesus.
"King Herod decides to hire a detective to find the three wise men, because they never came back [after the birth of Jesus]," says Unger of the plot. "Herod hires James Murray, a sort of gumshoe detective from the 1940s era, who searches for the wise men, and in the process of looking for them, finds out about Jesus' birth. This script really tells the story in a way that we don't typically see."
‘When Worlds Collide: A Christmas Detective Story’
WHEN/WHERE — 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 & 3 p.m. Dec. 3, Arts Center of the Ozarks in Springdale; 7 p.m. Dec. 8-9, Immanuel Baptist Church in Springdale
COST — $5-$10
INFO — 751-5441
Christmas music will be performed during the show by local band Shades, as well as the Audio Theater Band.
The show's nine performers will perform a total of 26 roles, many actors doubling or tripling roles.
"Audio actors have to be very flexible with accents, they have to be very vocally expressive," says Unger. "With a stage play, the audience gets a lot by looking at people's faces as they interact with other actors on stage. But this is all aural. The way they express themselves verbally and aurally is so important, and they have to be a lot more aware of the sound effect environment, because those effects tell an awful lot about the story.
"Really, during an audio play, you're only limited by the creativity of the cast. For the last show, 'Frankenstein,' they were able to portray being on a ship at sea, being in the Arctic, being in a burning house -- you can do so much with sound effects and good voice actors, it really doesn't limit you to what's actually on stage."
Unger says that the show's run is largely charitable -- playgoers to the performances at the Arts Center of the Ozarks are encouraged to bring monetary donations or donations of canned goods to benefit the Northwest Arkansas Food Bank, and proceeds from the ticket sales to the performances at Immanuel Baptist Church in Springdale will benefit House of Hope Rescue, a day center for the homeless.
-- Lara Jo Hightower
NAN What's Up on 11/26/2017
Print Headline: Mystery of Christmas