The Birth, a locally produced Christmas play, returns for seventh season
Posted on 27 Nov 2012 by Nathan Rouse
Seven years ago, I put legs to the inspiration to create an original piece of holiday theater after reading the work of Pultizer-nominee Frederick Buechner. His ability to recast biblical characters in 3-dimensions resonated deeply with me. Whether it’s his retelling of the story of Jacob in his phenomenal “Son of Laughter” or his treatment of characters from the Christmas narrative, such as the ones we present, as living, breathing, feeling, regretting, hoping individuals, I knew this was material that needed to be brought to a wider audience.
Thus “The Birth” was born.
Like the titular First Family, we performed our debut season for very little audience in a very little space, that of CAST’s prior boxagon over on Central Avenue for about 30 people.
Since that effort in 2006, however, this little one-act of cobbled together pieces of literature and dance and original Christmas songs and hymns has exploded. The ensuing 6 years of production have seen the show nominated twice for Best Theater Event by Creative Loafing, and in 2010 we “toured” for the first time to Buechner’s academic namesake, The Buechner Institute, as part of King College in Bristol, Tennessee. And our 30-member 2006 audience roared into a 1600-member 2011 audience.
My company, Starving Artist, has had a good year. We premiered the locally-written “Don’t Cry For Me, Margaret Mitchell” to rave audience response in May and the thrilling one-act “The Dumb Waiter” in July. But it’s this little stripped down theatrical experience of “The Birth” that centers us all creatively, emotionally, spiritually. I promise you this much, it will be like no other holiday offering you’ll see this year. (And if you really want to get the Christmas spirit blazing, check out our Celebration Night on Sunday, the 23rd.)
Our troupe of 7 performers is like a family. And when you attend one of the shows, you become part of that family. We hope you’ll join us this December as we share a laugh and shed a tear and confront the mystery of how, as Buechner puts it, “the child is born in the night and nothing is ever the same again.”
The Birth resumes its presence Uptown this year, with performances December 13 – 23 at the Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit Square on Church Street in Charlotte. Tickets cost $16, or $30 for the Celebration Event on December 23rd. For more information or to buy tickets, visit thebirth.net or carolinatix.org.