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Theater

Theatre Factory's 'Nuncrackers' puts sisters back in spotlight

| Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018, 9:03 a.m.
The cast of “Nuncrackers,” a holiday production at The Theatre Factory, Trafford, includes (from left) Amelia Bender, Angela Thompson, Rona Gehring and Jared Miller.
The cast of “Nuncrackers,” a holiday production at The Theatre Factory, Trafford, includes (from left) Amelia Bender, Angela Thompson, Rona Gehring and Jared Miller.
Jared Miller, Eamonn McElfresh, Chloe Stack and Amelia Bender are members of the cast of “Nuncrackers” at The Theatre Factory in Trafford Dec. 7-16.
Angela Bender
Jared Miller, Eamonn McElfresh, Chloe Stack and Amelia Bender are members of the cast of “Nuncrackers” at The Theatre Factory in Trafford Dec. 7-16.

Christmas carols unlike any other heard this time of year are part of the fun of “Nuncrackers,” the “Nunsense” Christmas musical tuning up at The Theatre Factory for a Dec. 7 opening night.

“Nunsense” is one of a catalog of nearly a dozen musical comedy titles by musical theater writer and composer Dan Goggin that puts the nuns of Little Sisters of Hoboken in the spotlight, which is their favorite place to be.

In this holiday production, audiences will be treated to unique musical renditions of “Twelve Days Prior to Christmas,” “Santa Ain’t Comin’ to Our House,” “We Three Kings of Orient Are Us,” “It’s Better to Give Than to Receive” and a Village People send-up of “In the Convent.”

Erin Stetor Seaberg of White Oak, who has been part of some 15 different productions of the comedy series over the years, is directing “Nuncrackers” and says this show is near and dear to her heart.

All-star cast

“My mom starred as Reverend Mother in Jude Pohl’s production of ‘Nunsense’ that ran for over five years in Pittsburgh. It’s like a piece of this show rubbed off on me from my mom and never left,” she says. “In fact, I will be costuming the production for Pittsburgh Musical Theater early in 2019.”

“It’s an honor to make another Dan Goggin show come alive on The Theatre Factory stage.”

Seaberg, a resident artist with Pittsburgh Musical Theater and sixth grade English language arts teacher with Propel East in Turtle Creek, says her biggest challenge as director was deciding which performers to include in the show.

“I know I picked an all-star cast,” she says. “Even the little ones in this show exude so much talent and personality into their roles.”

Angela Thompson of North Huntingdon has the saintly job of portraying Reverend Mother Sister Mary Regina in the show.

“She is fun, loving, caring and very down to earth,” Thompson says about her character. “She tries to keep order and to keep the show running, but everything goes wrong. Luckily, she has a pretty good attitude about it all.”

Thompson was last seen in the Apple Hill Playhouse production of “Grease” and Stage Right’s production of “A Perfect Wedding.”

Seriously funny

Rona Gehring of Pittsburgh, who plays Sister Robert Anne, whom she describes as “a New York girl at heart, a nun with sass,” says that audiences will have a good time at the show.

“It’s hilarious, seriously funny,” she says.

Thompson agrees, and says “even if you aren’t Catholic, you will still enjoy this show because the themes are very broad. It is also family friendly, so bring the kids.”

The “Nuncrackers” cast also features Jeanne Kane as Sister Hubert, Kirstin Repco as Sister Amnesia, Grace Bender as Sister Mary Leo and Jimmy Gatchler as Father Virgil.

Children in the show include Chloe Stack, Eamonn McElfresh, Amelia Bender and Jared Miller.

Aaron Gray is musical director; Elizabeth Carter Yarnot is stage manager.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

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