Join the cast of a holiday classic with the Rend Lake College Theatre’s Fall Play, “Miracle on 34th Street.”
Auditions for the play will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 13, in the RLC Theatre. The play will run Thursday, Nov. 3, through Sunday, Nov. 6. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday performances will be held at 7 p.m. and the Sunday performance will be a 2 p.m. matinee.
RLC Theatre Director Tracey Webb said 10 men and 10 women are needed for various roles in the play. “I’m looking for some real Southern Illinois talent to shine in this play,” she said.
“Miracle on 34th Street” begins at the Macy’s Department Store Thanksgiving Day parade, where the actor playing Santa is discovered to be drunk by a whiskered old man. Doris Walker, the no-nonsense special events director, persuades the old man to take his place. The old man proves to be a sensation and is quickly recruited to be the store Santa at the main Macy’s outlet.
While he is successful, Doris learns that he calls himself Kris Kringle and he claims to be the actual Santa Claus. Despite reassurances by Kringle’s doctor that he is harmless, Doris still has misgivings, especially because she has cynically trained herself and her daughter Susan to reject all notions of belief and fantasy. And yet people, especially Susan, begin to notice there is something special about Kris and his determination to advance the true spirit of Christmas amidst the rampant commercialism around him and succeeding in improbable ways.
When a raucous conflict with the store’s cruelly incompetent psychologist erupts, Kris finds himself held at Bellevue where, in despair, he deliberately fails a mental examination to ensure his commitment. All seems lost until Doris’ friend, Fred Gailey, reassures Kris of his worth and agrees to represent him in the fight to secure his release. To achieve that, Fred arranges a formal hearing in which he argues that Kris is sane because he is, in fact, Santa Claus. What ensues is a bizarre hearing in which people’s beliefs are reexamined and put to the test, but even so, it’s going to take a miracle for Kris to win.