2000 Candles: Trash Can for a Cradle?

A trash can for a king is a crude cradle. But 2000 Candles, a travelling music theatre performance, pulls it off by peeling back Christmas commercialism and bringing the birth of Jesus back to centre stage.

“We structured the show in such a way that we progressively strip away the trappings of Christmas and are left with the lighting of a single candle representing the birth of Jesus,” says Tom Carson, director of the play that celebrates two millenniums of Christmases.

Carson says the production is a collective creation based on each cast member’s memories of a lifetime of Christmases. “We saw that our experiences of Christmas were multidimensional: a jumble of carols, presents, family dynamics, food, tradition, expectation and somewhere – perhaps buried deep inside the chaos – faith,” says Carson. “We also wondered what the birth of Jesus would look like today with young, unwed parents struggling to make sense of God’s impossible plan for their lives.”

Carson says the show, running since 2000, is distinctly absent of “Dickensian, rosy-cheeked carollers.” The set is a street corner, complete with a trash can that is eventually transformed into a makeshift manger.

Cast members Richard Peters, Ins Choi, Andrea Cross and Jeanine Noyes are each accomplished performers in their own right with dozens of credits in theatre, television and musical performance. The 2000 Candles troupe funds its ministry through ticket sales, and churches across Canada can book the performance to help raise money for their own ministries.

The new season for 2000 Candles starts on Nov. 19 and is available for booking through Christmas Eve. Tickets cost $15. For more information about scheduled dates or to book a show, visit www.2000candles.com.

By Stephanie Tombari, Faith Today magazine
September/October 2009, page 11

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