Now in its 16th year, Aurora Theatre’s Christmas Canteen Continues as Gwinnett’s Longest Running Theatrical Holiday Tradition

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Christmas Canteen 2011 is Aurora Theatre’s original annual holiday musical extravaganza. This living Christmas card overflows with nostalgic music that will evoke warm holiday memories. In fact, for thousands of North Georgians, it’s just not Christmas until they hear their Canteen favorites like “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” “Jingle Bell Rock,” “Winter Wonderland” and so many more. Gwinnett County’s longest running theatrical holiday tradition combines the sentimentality of a television variety special with the high energy of a USO show.

New this year, part of the show is in homage to the proud tradition of country music and the Grand Ole Opry. As always, Christmas Canteen 2011 pays tribute to the men and women of the United States Armed Services both past and present. For the 8th year, Aurora Theatre in support of the United States Marine Corps and their annual Toys for Tots drive host our Festival of Trees. The Festival of Trees, now in its 5th year, decks the halls of Aurora Theatre with nearly 30 trees, decorated by local businesses and organizations. These trees range from the whimsically clever to the breathtakingly spectacular. In addition to toys, patrons are encouraged to contribute food that will be donated to the local food banks through the Holtkamp Can Challenge. Anyone can cast a vote for their favorite tree with a new unwrapped toy or a non-perishable food item to help ensure that everyone has a great holiday season.

Christmas Canteen 2011 boasts an amazing cast, including Canteen stalwarts Stacey Stone in her 11th Canteen and Brandon O’Dell in his 8th year. Returning Aurora veterans, Jevares Myrick (2009-2010 Cobb Ovation Award for Outstanding Vocal Performer) and Eric Moore (Suzi Bass Award winner) are ready to deliver dynamic performances. Aurora favorite Erin Lorette (Kiss Me, Kate) and lovely Tedra Chriss are making their Canteen debuts. The cast will perform under the music direction of Aurora Theatre Associate Producer Ann-Carol Pence, who has been a part of each and every Christmas Canteen.

Christmas Canteen is a very personal way for Ann-Carol Pence and me to show our appreciation for the supportive community that has helped to realize our dreams. Great music performed from the heart conveys our gratitude in the sincerest way possible,” says Aurora Theatre Producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez

Cast and Crew

Brandon O’Dell – Ensemble & Writer
Stacey Stone – Ensemble
Eric Moore – Ensemble
Jevares Myrick – Ensemble
Tedra Chriss – Ensemble
Erin Lorette – Ensemble

Anthony Rodriguez – Director
Ann-Carol Pence – Music Director
Ricardo Aponte – Choreographer
Britt Hultgren Ramroop – Set Design/Production Manager
Bradley Bergeron – Lighting Design
Neal Vipperman – Costume Design
Bobby Johnston – Sound Design
James M. Helms – Technical Director
Sarah Thomson – Scenic Artist
Katie Pelkey – Stage Manager
Maureen Downs – Asst. Stage Manager

Christmas Canteen 2011 runs November 25 to December 23 with a special preview performance on Wednesday November 23 at 8 p.m. Preview tickets are $10 with a library card. Tickets are $20 to $40. For tickets and more information, please visit http://www.auroratheatre.com/ or call 678-226-6222.