Littlewoodsmith will take to the streets of Gravenhurst for their rendition of A Christmas Tale, with a Gravenhurst flavour.
“I’m fascinated with local history,” says Autumn Smith, who created Littlewoodsmith.
She’s a frequent visitor to the Gravenhurst Public Library and often uses her time there to go through its extensive archive. She reworked the play through her browsing and help from the library staff.
“We’ve been so alienated from the community and being in space together and telling stories together,” says Smith. She thinks this is the perfect way to gather safety and learn about our history.
The play won’t be done on a stage, but rather will take place throughout a planned route in Gravenhurst with showers at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 16, 17, and 18. A 9 p.m.show will also take place on Dec 18.
Smith explains the story will unfold as you walk from the library, through Heritage Square, past the Opera House and towards the Trinity United Church on Muskoka Road North.
Smith says It’s a beautiful way to incorporate the town in this storytelling, as opposed to sitting down and watching the play. She believes walking the streets adds another layer to the play.
There is no set cost for a ticket. Smith recommends $20, but the cost is up to whoever is paying.
Gravenhurst Against Poverty will get 20-percent of the ticket sales. Email [email protected] for tickets or call 416-471-8930. Smith says they’re limiting each show to 30 people for safety reasons and to ensure everyone can experience the play as intended.
While the overarching story will remain the same, Smith says they will touch on Gravenhurst themes like the lumber yard, a local ghost story, the “great fire” that tore through downtown in 1887, and businessman and politician Alexander Peter Cockburn who served as Muskoka’s first MP from 1872 until 1882.
“I tried to look at the time period that Charles Dickens originally wrote the piece in and how that translated to Muskoka,” Smith says. “There are a lot of Gravenhurstisms woven into the fabric of the piece.”
“The play talks about charity, it talks about bringing people together,” she adds, which is why Smith was so keen to support GAP with it. Another theme is about community, so strolling through downtown makes sense. It gives people a new way to engage with a nearly two centuries old play. “What better way to celebrate community than walking through the community,” Smith says.