By Rita Charleston
All of the beloved holiday classics are coming to Chestnut Hill at The Stagecrafters Theatre, 8130 Germantown Ave. “Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some)” is being produced in partnership with the Mt. Airy-based Casabuena Cultural Productions Dec. 16 through Dec. 23.
Written by Michael Carleton, James Fitzgerald and John K. Alvarez, the play highlights favorite holiday stories such as “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” “The Grinch,” “A Christmas Carol” and many more, as well as Christmas stories from around the world.
Aside from putting local actors Jim Broyles, Kyle Paul Dandridge and Brian Weiser through their paces, director Mariangela Saavedra has added a new character to the fun, the sassy elf played by Teresa Nutter. “Mariangela decided to incorporate a female character in order to keep the three male characters on stage as much as possible,” said Nutter, a Bucks County native. “I am on loan from Santa, and my primary role is to help these three guys, but I don’t really want to be there. I’d rather be back at the North Pole helping Santa. But I do whatever has to be done while poking fun at them, trying to trip them up but still doing the job I was meant to do.”
Growing up, Nutter (no relation to former Philadelphia mayor Michael Nutter) wanted to be a lot of things, from an astronaut to a doctor to a teacher — until at the age of nine or 10 she watched a show on television that would change her life. “I was watching ‘Saturday Night Live’ and saw that the people on that show pretended to be everything I wanted to be, so I reasoned I could be many things too.” But first there was the small matter of overcoming her almost paralyzing stage fright.
“I never got involved in plays at Pennsbury High School because I was just too shy. Even at Kutztown University, where I majored in Communication Studies and Theater, I only appeared in one show, ‘The Vagina Monologues.’ After graduation I never auditioned well, so I decided to take an improv class to help me deal with the situation. After that, auditioning got a lot easier.”
Today, the 30-year-old Nutter is thrilled with this show and her role in it, although her job in the print, drawing and photographs department at the Philadelphia Museum of Art doesn’t leave as much time as she’s like to pursue performing. “My elf character is spirited, good-hearted and a hard worker, but she’s not willing to compromise herself. Mariangela and I worked together to create the character, and I use lots of improv in making her seem real.
“I love doing improv and comedy, and I’d love to continue doing comedy and perhaps teaching theater to students of all ages,” Nutter said, “and with a few more shows under my belt, and maybe a directing credit of two, I hope to be doing just that.”
For more information, go to www.casabuena.com