Saturday, December 14, 2019, 7:30 pm
General Admission $15/ Seniors and Children $12. Children 4 & under are free.
The 35th annual Welcome Yule: A Midwinter Celebration returns to the Shea Theater for three performances December 13 through 15.
Rose Sheehan, Welcome Yule founding director, joins the company after a 20-year hiatus in collaboration with current artistic director Liz Smith and music director Kathryn Aubry-McAvoy to mount this year’s production.
Sheehan first conceived the idea for a mid-winter pageant that emphasized folk music and customs in 1985. For 15 years she served the company as artistic director. Sheehan shepherded its growth from a basement coffee house program to a full theatrical production that enjoyed many years at the Shea Theater. She is thrilled to return to direct the 35th anniversary show.
The program’s storyline centers on the wisdom of trees, the power of animals and the deep magic of music. An original song composed by Colin de la Barre served as the nexus for the story development. Sheehan’s son, de la Barre participated in Welcome Yule during his childhood throughout the 1990’s. In recent years de la Barre has performed as one half of the singing duo Meridian. He joins this year’s cast as a featured singer, debuting his composition.
Over the years Welcome Yule's audiences have been regaled with mirth, song, dance and good cheer. This year’s highlights will include rousing harmonies, lively dances, and the use of giant puppets throughout the show.
The Abbot’s Bromley Horn Dance, a staple of the annual pageant, will be performed by the Juggler Meadow Morris Men of Amherst, Massachusetts. The horns carried by the dancers are in fact a set of caribou antlers. Though the origins of this stately English folk dance are debated, one theory holds that it served as a ritual to ensure a plentiful deer herd in the year to come.
Another regular feature, a mummers’ play will also be included. The action of this comic folk drama centers on the death and subsequent revival of one of its characters. The speeches, delivered in rhyming couplets, are written for laughs and the puns are sure to elicit a groan or two.
Welcome Yule is produced and performed by an all volunteer cast and crew. It is a family friendly program suitable for all ages.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Posted to: Upcoming Events at the Shea.
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Special thanks to the Mass Cultural Council for their vital support this year in the form of a Cultural Sector Recovery Grant for Organizations, as well as a Festivals & Projects Grant. We'd also like to thank the Community Foundation of Western Massachusetts for their support in the form of a Flexible Funding grant. We couldn't do this work without you!