Giants and dragons and . . . it’s ‘Christmastide’ at RAAC

DRAGON TIDINGS: Rehearsing for the RAAC Community Theatre’s "St. George and the Dragon at Christmastide” are, from left: Brent Logan, Mike Mahoney, Tina Yirgu, Maeve Ciuba, Carolina Leonard, Stephanie Mastri, Dawn Schimke, Brendan Maityn and Lucas DuMez.Raymond Boc | Rappahannock News
DRAGON TIDINGS: Rehearsing for the RAAC Community Theatre’s "St. George and the Dragon at Christmastide” are, from left: Brent Logan, Mike Mahoney, Tina Yirgu, Maeve Ciuba, Carolina Leonard, Stephanie Mastri, Dawn Schimke, Brendan Maityn and Lucas DuMez.

A lot more than St. George and a dragon are coming to town Dec. 9-11 in the new RAAC Community Theatre annual Christmas production, “St. George and the Dragon at Christmastide.”

The play begins as a group of medieval villagers, not unlike those of the “Shepherds’ Play,” a perennial holiday favorite at the theatre, gather to be assigned roles for a Christmas play for the local aristocracy and the people of the town.

The town clerk, in charge of assigning roles, snags the role of Father Christmas. The other villagers are appointed a dragon, a giant (with sidekick trolls) and a devil (and some little devils). There’s also a quack doctor and a hobby horse – and, of course, Saint George. A merry fool pulls the elements of the play together.

“In the end” says director Peter Hornbostel, “all of the villagers become enthusiastic actors doing their best with the role they have been given – like many of us.”

“St. George and the Dragon at Christmastide” is loosely based on a centuries-old fable, explains Hornbostel. “In the second act, the play begins to follow a little more closely the traditional medieval Mummers Play.” As the villagers enthusiastically enact their assigned roles, evil threatens – but in the end good wins the day, with the action moved along by traditional Morris dancers.

How can all this fit on one small stage? Come and see. The whole family will find much to enjoy in the characters, the spectacle and the Christmas songs, as good conquers evil in time for a Merry Christmas for all.

Assisting artistic director Peter Hornbostel are assistant director Stephanie Mastri and stage manager Ralph Bates. The actors’ ages span more than 50 years and are almost evenly divided between seasoned members of the RAAC Community Theatre troupe and talented newcomers.

There are three performances of “St. George and the Dragon at Christmastide”: at 7:30 Friday and Saturday (Dec. 9-10) and at 3 on Sunday (Dec. 11), all at RAAC Community Theatre, 310 Gay St., Washington. Admission is $15 ($5 ages 12 and younger).

The annual Christmas play is a popular event; early reservations are recommended. Email reservations are preferred (raactheatre@yahoo.com), or call 540-675-3193. In either case give your name and the performance date, and the number of adults and children attending.

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