Anti-Bullying and More | A Christmas Story
Don't Be a Bully!
We may have a bully on stage during A Christmas Story, but Nashville Rep doesn't like bullies! Many of us at Nashville Rep have dealt with bullying in our own lives, we know how damaging it can be. If you, or someone you, know is being bullied get help now! Use the links below for certified anti-bullying organizations (national and local) that can help!
Five Years in the Pink Bunny Suit and Going Strong
Not many actors can say they have successfully sustained a character for half a decade, let alone an iconic character a number of years their junior. But Nashville Rep's beloved actor Samuel Whited has done just that with Ralphie Parker in our annual, holiday production of A Christmas Story. On playing a 9-year-old Whited says, "It's easy for the heart to remember 9. The knees take a bit of work." Not only does he take on the challenge of playing a child as an adult, but he also switches back and forth on a dime between Ralphie and adult Ralph throughout the show. He makes these transitions seamlessly like an old pro and yet, after 5 years of begging for that bb gun, somehow still manages to make every performance feel like the it's the first. Whited attributes this ability to the fact that," the younger a child is, the less sure of the world they are; always looking for absolutes. The part I work at the most is keeping the search with every show, like I'm learning the truths all over again." Just as he works to keep his performance onstage new and exciting each show, he has also found ways to make his overall experience each year playing Ralphie district. This year he was the brainchild behind one of our A Christmas Story online shorts in which he was able to have a bit of fun with Ralphie outside the confines of the show's script along with fellow actor Geoff Davin.
Year after year for five years Samuel Whited has returned to don the pink bunny suit, get his mouth washed out with Lifebuoy, and shoot his eye out, and after all this time what does he say is still the hardest part of playing the 9-year-old Ralphie: "remembering after to grow up."
The Most Surprising Holiday Classic
A Christmas Story premiered in movie theatres 30 years ago on Thanksgiving Day 1983. Only average ticket sales and very mixed reviews (one literally 'Bah Humbug-ed' at the film) lead MGM to pull it early from cinemas and A Christmas Story was actually out of theatres before Christmas even arrived that year. The early failure of the film, however, may have been the very thing that lead to it becoming one of the most beloved Christmas movies of all time. With its unfavorable reception in theatres, the television broadcast rights for the film were relatively inexpensive. The popularity of it grew so great through TV that by 1997 TNT premiered the now famous "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" that has aired every year since with upwards of 50 million people each year tuning in to it at some point. One of the few reviews from 1983 that saw in the movie the potential for this future success came from film critics Siskel and Ebert.
"My guess is that either nobody will go see it or millions of people will go to see it because it will catch on." Well, Roger Ebert, you were right, on both accounts.