Members of Summerland Singers and Players are preparing to stage A Christmas Pudding

Dramatic fundraiser scheduled

A Christmas Pudding. Not only a favourite holiday treat, but also the name of a show to be performed by the Summerland Singers and Players.

A Christmas Pudding. Not only a favourite holiday treat, but also the name of a show to be performed by the Summerland Singers and Players, as their third annual fundraiser for the food bank. It will be held at the Summerland United Church on Dec. 13, at 7:30 p.m.

“There is a bit of interesting history behind this program. It was first done as a fundraiser in Los Angeles, for the homeless, in 1995.

“It has been performed in a number of places since then, throughout North America,” explained Program Director, Bryan Laver. “It features traditional and modern pieces gathered from some of the world’s greatest writers. It starts off with a quote from William Shakespeare and concludes with an audience sing-a-long of one of the most well-known carols, Joy to the World.”

Laver explained that many of the pieces that will be performed have not been heard for a very long time.

They are pieces that were famous in the 1900s, but have recently been overlooked in favour of the more contemporary.

Although he was reluctant to give too much about the show away, he did mention the Gift of the Maggi, will be read by a male and female team, much like a radio play.

“Six actors will bring their creative abilities to bear on stories and poetry that is uplifting and poignant, funny and sad, mixed in with the talented voices of a choir brought together under the direction and musical accompaniment of Kathleen Estabrooks and Chris Baron,” he said.

There will also be a slide show, with an appropriate slide for each piece being read, some of them being very comical and representative of the 1800s.

Following the performance there will be complimentary baking and refreshments served in the adjoining hall.

Laver stated that the Summerland Singers and Players are very fortunate to have the use of the church and for the amount of support that they have received.

He expressed gratitude for the Minister of the Church, Armand Houle, Debbie Kinvig in the office, John Bubb who provided technical assistance to Barb Rolston and Louise Chenery, who will be operating the slide show and sound system and for Louise Read who had organized ladies to assist with the baking.

“You see it really is a community coming together to help others at Christmas time,” he said.

This community theater group has been in Summerland for over 100 years, according to Laver.

They have had some difficulty in the last number of years in being able to get enough people together to stage a play. Laver said that one of the reasons for this is because there are so many draws on people’s time.

The members are all volunteers and no one gets paid.

“Funds are raised through performances,” said Laver. “The charge covers the cost, with hopefully seed money for the next show.”

Each performance brings thousands of dollars into the community through the purchase of supplies in order to create sets and costumes.

The theater group currently has 14 regular members and is always ready to welcome more.

“No experience is necessary. We’re looking for all age groups, although predominately adults, people in their late teens and early twenties,” Laver said. “We need lots of people for back stage work. Stage managers, people who like to build sets, carpenters, painters. There are a million different things that go into making a show.”

One of the reasons for doing the fundraiser for the food bank, Laver explained, was because the group felt the need to keep a hand in the community, lest they be forgotten about.

“We felt that we’d like to do something for the community and not have a charge that was going to us, but was in fact going to a worthy cause. It’s a way of giving back to the community at this time of year,” he said.

“Last year we raised over $1,000 and I’m hoping we’ll do better than that this year.”

Tickets for A Christmas Pudding are available at the Summerland Arts Centre and at the United Church as well as at the door. Hearing assist is available upon request.