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6:14 AM Tue, Dec. 11th

Go back to childhood with ‘A Christmas Story’

Kevin Nissen and Sandy Vernon in the Prescott Center for the Arts’ production of “A Christmas Story.” (Tina Blake/Courtesy)

Kevin Nissen and Sandy Vernon in the Prescott Center for the Arts’ production of “A Christmas Story.” (Tina Blake/Courtesy)

See a show that can immediately bring anybody back to their childhood, even though it’s in 1940, with Prescott Center for the Arts’ production of “A Christmas Story.”

Despite it being set such a long time ago, everybody can relate to what Ralphie is going through, said show director and PCA Executive Director Robyn Allen. Further, since it’s set in a small town at Christmas time, it’s a show fitting for a town like Prescott.

Allen said she had produced the play years ago, but when she did it, it was for a youth program and it was all kids acting in it.

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Kevin Nissen and Sandy Vernon in the Prescott Center for the Arts’ production of “A Christmas Story.” (Tina Blake/Courtesy)

“I really wanted to do it the authentic way and have our adults,” she said. “That’s one of the things I’m looking forward to doing with our family theater is we’ll still have the show every year that has all children in it, but then the other one is a really good training ground for the kids to be able to work with some of our more seasoned actors.”

Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6, Saturday, Dec. 8, and Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 12-15, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9, and Sunday, Dec. 16.

PCA veterans Kevin Nissen and Sandy Vernon are acting as the Old Man and Ralphie’s mother and them modeling concepts such as stage presence or projecting has helped with the kids’ growth, Allen said. In fact, Tristan Hepker, who plays Ralphie, has mentioned several times how much he’s grown thanks to them, she said.

The adaptation works really well and though she knew that going into it, there’s always a moment of wondering if the show’s essence is going to be captured, Allen said. However, she knew early into rehearsals that they did in fact have it with the great job Nissen is doing, how much of a wonderful mother Vernon is and how great Hepker is at portraying Ralphie, she said.

Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for youth and are available at pca-az.net or at the box office, 208 N. Marina St.

The show itself, on the PCA Main Stage, is very cinematic and was actually adapted by Philip Grecian for Jean Shepherd, who helped write the film and wrote the novel the film was based on. There’s something about the play that holds its own, Allen said.

“He did a great job keeping Jean Shepherd’s voice. It’s very much what you expect to see,” she said. “You won’t miss the things that are in the movie that aren’t in the play because it holds its own, but still has all of the charm and all of those moments that you would expect to see are there.”