LIMA — Just in time for the holidays, Encore Theatre will be staging an adaptation of “A Christmas Story” with many of the same scenes that solidified the 1983 movie as a Christmas classic.
Director Ron Hesseling said the stage adaptation borrows heavily from the movie’s plot — the holiday struggles of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker — but, the live version uses local talent to bring new flavor to the 35-year-old movie many are already familiar with.
“It’s going to be a unique experience,” Hesseling said. “It’s not only going to be what’s portrayed in the movie. Each actor brings their own personality to the character so you’ll see little differences in how each one of the actors portrays their particular character.”
Hesseling said unlike other adult productions, the majority of the cast of “A Christmas Story” are played by a number of child actors — five boys and two girls — that change the dynamics of his direction, but that doesn’t mean the play is a child production. Much of the humor that appeals to adults remains for the stage adaptation.
“The same humor in the movie will be in this play. Like I said, there are slight changes for wording and just the way it would appear on stage,” Hesseling said. “There’s more technical aspects in this play than any other play I’ve directed, because this play was written from the movie. If you had a movie budget, you could put on a movie.”
Hesseling said the production would be good for both children and adult play-goers, but he would leave it to the parents to decide if they feel if it’s appropriate. The best approach, he said, would be to make the decision based on whether parents feel comfortable allowing their children to watch the movie.
“I would have to say in the movie itself there was some language that might have been a little questionable, but even that questionable language has been diminished,” Hesseling said.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.