The viruses that cause COVID-19 are still out there and Lois Schneider said the last couple of years still have her wary of being in crowds.
But, for an actor and singer who has appeared in many community theater shows, Schneider is happy to have “A Christmas Pudding II” to work on.
“It feels good to be doing something,” said the Brookfield woman, whose husband, David, also will appear.
“A Christmas Pudding II,” which Black Sheep Players is staging Nov. 25-27 at First Presbyterian Church, Sharon, is a reader’s theater play originally produced by David Birney, the actor best known for TV roles in “Bridget Loves Bernie” and “Serpico.”
“The play consists of stories, songs and prose from a variety of sources that evoke the holiday season, but are not necessarily the commercial ones you might think of,” said Maria Ackley, play director and Black Sheep co-founder.
“It’s a different type of format, but, I mean, I personally like the format,” said Vicki Lingner of Brookfield, who is known as a storyteller. “It’s easier because you don’t have to memorize anything. You just interpret what you read.”
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to perform, said Schneider, a former pupil of Lingner, and then a colleague when they both taught at Sharon schools.
“A lot of people have a misconception, ‘Well, they’re just gonna stand up there,’” Schneider said. “You still have to perform the pieces. It’s not like you’re just gonna stick your nose in the book and read because that’s about as interesting as watching paint dry.”
Schneider will perform “The 12 Thank You Notes of Christmas.”
“It’s a parody on the “12 Days of Christmas,’” she said. “It’s the response of the receiver of the gifts. This woman is getting all the stuff and it’s like, OK, when has she had enough?”
David Schneider is doing a piece from the memoir “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt.
“It’s a Christmas experience he (McCourt) had as a young boy when his father was on the dole,” Lois Schneider said.
Lingner will read excerpts from Charles Dicken’s “A Christmas Carol” and Alfred, Lord Tennyson’s “Ring Out Wild Bells,” Ackley said.
Lingner said she’s looking forward to doing something live and in the fellowship hall at the church.
“I like that venue,” Lingner said. “I’ve done a lot of things down there myself. The acoustics are amazingly good in that little basement.”
The show also will feature a videotaped reading of Charles Dickens’ “The Pickwick Paper,” by Dickens’ great-great-grandson, Gerald Dickens, said Ackley, whose husband, John, also is in the cast.
Black Sheep presented a virtual rendition of the first “A Christmas Pudding” in 2020.
The Schneiders do plays alone and together, but they particularly like taking part in Christmas activities, Lois Schneider said.
“We met in a Christmas caroling group, is how David and I met in 1983,” she said. “A mutual friend was in a group and I went to a rehearsal and there he was. We love the Christmas stuff. We love the Christmas music.”
The show will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and 26, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 27. Tickets are available at blacksheep.booktix.com, and also will be sold at the door.