Surprise Proposal Highlights the Opening Night of Christmas Canteen


Photo by Mark Hesselgrave

Now in its 17thyear, Aurora Theatre’s Christmas Canteen is always a wonderful holiday tradition. This year’s opening night performance was made even more special with the surprise marriage proposal of Christmas Canteen cast member Kathryn Berrong, live on stage in front of a sold-out audience.

The end of the Christmas Canteen Friday night’s opening was interrupted by Aurora Theatre producing Artistic Director Anthony Rodriguez who thanked the audience for being a part of “a special opening night.” Then while a video tribute played on the huge screen above the stage, a nervous gentleman took the stage with flowers in hand.  Mr. Bradford “Quick” Chadwick dropped to one knee and surprised actress Kathryn Berrong with a proposal of marriage. The stunned Ms. Berrong accepted to the thundering applause of the packed house, which included members of both couple’s families.

Kathryn graduated from Parkview High School in Snellville, Ga. in 2000. After graduating from the University of Mississippi in 2005 with a degree in theatre, she performed on stages all over metropolitan Atlanta before relocating to New York City. While in Atlanta, she appeared in Aurora’s productions of Chicago, Guys and Dolls and Lucky Stiff. After returning to Atlanta in 2010, she served briefly as a box office assistant. It was during that time she met her newly betrothed. There are no details of the upcoming nuptials at this time.

Canteen has long been known for creating romantic moments. Former cast members Trent Merchant and Mindy Meyers (Canteen 1997) and Isaiah “Zeke” Jervis and Laura Jamison (Canteen 1998) each met on the Canteen set. Both couples are happily married and have children. Aurora Theatre Associate Producer and Music Director Ann-Carol Pence helped engineer the romantic surprise. “We are thrilled to be such an important part of the lives of this  young couple. Kathryn is so special to Anthony and me. I may not have children, but I am beaming with pride at creating another special romantic moment.”

Christmas Canteen 2012

Aurora Theatre’s original annual holiday musical extravaganza and Gwinnett County’s longest running theatrical holiday tradition combines the sentimentality of a television variety special with the high energy of a USO show. Christmas Canteen is a cup of eggnog for the holiday soul.

Christmas Canteen continues through December 23, 2012
Performances are Wednesday  through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
Tickets $30 – $40
*No performance Wednesday, November 28