‘A Civil War Christmas’ being presented Dec. 3-6 at Overbrook Theater

By Tony Wittkowski | Reporter | MLive – Muskegon Chronicle

MUSKEGON, MI — Paula Vogel’s “A Civil War Christmas” will be presented by the Muskegon Community College Center for Theater from Dec. 3-6 in the Overbrook Theater. The start time for all four of the performances will be 7:30 p.m.

Sheila Wahamaki, director of the Center for Theater at MCC, said the play is relatively new, having been first performed in 2008.

“It’s set during the last Christmas before the end of the Civil War,” Wahamaki said. “It chronicles life around that particular time and moment.”

The Overbrook Theater will be transformed into Washington D.C. on Christmas Eve, a year after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Known as “an American musical celebration,” the show integrates the singing of “Silent Night” and “O’ Christmas Tree.”

As for why the play was chosen, its holiday element could not be ignored.

“I select things that would be of interest in the community,” Wahamaki said. “I was looking for something that had a Christmas theme to it. The college offers a course in Civil War history and takes students to Gettysburg, so I thought this would be a nice tie in to the class.”

Out of the 27 cast members, 17 are current MCC students, with the rest comprised of alumni and community members.

The timing of the play is something Wahamaki thinks will draw in crowds as well.

“I think at Christmas time we want peace in the world,” she said. “It’s been interesting working on this Civil War play with what’s going on in Ferguson, Mo.”

Pre-show commentary and insights into the Civil War will be offered by MCC faculty members Kurt Troutman and George Maniates to coincide with the Thursday and Friday performances. Those programs are scheduled for 6:30 p.m. in the Overbrook Art Gallery.

Tickets are $10 for the general public and $5 for MCC students. For ticket information, call MCC’s box office at 231-777-0324. The box office hours are noon-4 p.m.

Tony Wittkowski is a staff reporter at MLive Muskegon Chronicle. Email him at twittkow@mlive.com and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on Nov. 30, 2014)

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