For the past four years “A Christmas Story” at San Luis Obispo Repertoire Theatre (SLO REP) or Little Theatre has become a holiday tradition for many in San Luis Obispo county. “A Christmas Story” is about a young boy, Ralphie Parker, who wants nothing more than a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas but has to navigate many obstacles in his journey like bullies, theme papers, an annoying little brother, stubborn parents, and friends, to get it. Most people today are patiently waiting for the next production of “A Christmas Story” which is happening December 2-23 with showtimes being on Wednesday through Sunday at 7pm, as well as Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm. Expressions decided to ask “A Christmas Story” director Kevin Harris a few questions.
Expressions: Why do you think “A Christmas Story” has become so popular in SLO?
Director Kevin Harris: It is just an incredible story. The reason why this has persevered throughout the years is because of Jean Shepherd’s incredible words, his original novels, his memoirs, and of course the movie everyone is familiar with. It is just such an amazing story of family, what it means to have family, memories, being nostalgic, and how the holidays are a perfect environment to bring all of those elements together in a tightened form.
Expressions: How far in the future can you see “A Christmas Story” being the Christmas show?
Harris: We will continue to listen to the desires and tastes of our audience. Our audiences have been growing every single year for “A Christmas Story” and I truly believe it has become a holiday tradition for many families in the city. So as long as families want to continue to make SLO REP a personal part of their holiday traditions, it is almost our obligation to do it.
Expressions: How has “A Christmas Story” become important to you?
Harris: I’ve gone through several different phases of “A Christmas Story”. I have very specific memories, I saw the movie when it was in theatres and it wasn’t that popular of a movie when first came out. I remember seeing it San Jose because we were up at my Aunt’s house for Thanksgiving and I remember my Dad and I going to see it and just absolutely loving it That has always been a special memory. You know my Dad and I escaping our in laws house. Escaping the craziness of Thanksgiving and having a really nice time in San Jose. And then of course I am very familiar with Jean Shepherd’s work throughout high school. I did a few speeches from his memoirs. So having the opportunity almost six years ago to produced the theatrical version of “A Christmas Story was just such treat to see these words come to life in new way, to interpret Jean Shepherd’s words in a way that you obviously can’t in the movie. So to create new memories it has been really a privilege every year.
Expressions: Do you believe that “A Christmas Story” has become a holiday tradition for many people in SLO?
Harris: Absolutely, and super happy about it.