Penn State Shenango to present 'A Christmas Pudding'

SHARON, Pa. — The Penn State Shenango Drama Club has announced plans to kick off the Christmas season by presenting a celebration of readings and carols under the title of 'A Christmas Pudding.' The production will be presented at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 1 and 2, and at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 3, in the campus auditorium, located in downtown Sharon, Pennsylvania (across from the Sharon Post Office).

This program was created, compiled and adapted by David Birney more than 20 years ago as a benefit for the homeless in his community. Likewise, on the first weekend of December, the Penn State Shenango Drama Club will use Birney’s script as the basis for a benefit for the Community Food Warehouse.

So what is a Christmas pudding, also known as “figgy pudding”? Basically, it is a boiled pudding involving dried fruit and spices (but no figs), preserved by a thorough soaking of a favorite liquor with a high alcohol content. In short, it is rather like our fruitcake. And like fruitcake’s assortment of small bits of a variety of treats, 'A Christmas Pudding' is a tasty medley of writings and songs. Several of the best-known pieces are “The Gift of the Magi,” portions of “A Christmas Carol,” the “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” letter, and readings from the Gospel of Luke.

Jeanne Zingale, instructor in communication and theater at Penn State Shenango, is the director of the show. Cast members include Penn State Shenango students and faculty, community members, and several students from area elementary schools. One of the musical numbers — “The Twelve Days of Christmas” — will provide audience members a chance to get involved in the fun. After the show, children of all ages will have the opportunity to talk to and take a picture with Santa Claus.

Admission is $8 for adults; $7 for students and senior citizens; and $5 for children 4 and under. Admission includes free refreshments at intermission and a visit with Santa after the show. All admissions will be sold at the door and are for general admission seating. Children under age 12 must be accompanied by an adult. A basket raffle will be conducted during the run of the show, with all proceeds going to the Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County. Prize drawings will be held during intermission on Sunday afternoon; you do not need to be present to win.

'A Christmas Pudding' is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. For more information and special arrangements for groups of 10 or more, contact the Office of Student Affairs at 724-983-2836.