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May 2020
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It’s finally here - A Christmas Story, The Musical premieres

Pickens native Joe Robinette’s play comes to Jasper 


A Christmas Story, The Musical hits the stage this Friday and Saturday at Pickens High School. The elaborate stage sets even features a PT Cruiser that was taken apart and reassembled inside the building. 


A Christmas Story, The Musical will hit the PHS stage this weekend and a former Jasper resident and 1956 Pickens High graduate, Joe Robinette, is the man who penned the script. The play opened on Broadway in November 2012.

At PHS, Robinette played sports, was senior class president, and took part in two plays. He went on to become a professor emeritus at Rowan University and has written over 50 plays that have been published in numerous languages around the world. He has collaborated with E.B. White on the official

adaptation of Charlotte’s Web, and has written other authorized dramatizations, including The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and Stuart Little. 

In a 2012 interview with the Progress prior to A Christmas Story, The Musical’s debut, Robinette said the show was “seven years in the making.”

A must see this holiday season, A Christmas Story, The Musical features a dancing leg lamp chorus line, the iconic pink bunny suit and a PT Cruiser that was taken apart and re-assembled inside the building. Don’t miss this chance to see a great story coming to life in the best way - on our own PHS stage.

The musical, many will know from the popular television movie, takes place in the 1940s in Indiana and focuses on a nine-year-old  named Ralphie, who desperately wants a BB gun for Christmas - specifically a Red Ryder Range Model Carbine Action BB Gun. The only problem? Everyone is convinced he’ll shoot his eye out. Undeterred, he begins to try and convince the powers that be - from his Mother to his teacher, Miss Shields, all the way to Santa Claus himself, that he needs that gun for the protection of his loved ones. And Ralphie’s imagination and ways to bring everyone over to his side lead to wonderful scenes of song and dance. Songs like Ralphie To The Rescue, Major Award, It’s All Coming Down To Christmas, and You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out all help to bring high energy to the show. 

PHS students along with younger ones from the middle schools bring all the characters to life in show-stopping performances.

Music director for the show and PCMS chorus and drama teacher, Lauren Tolar, said she had several reasons for wanting to be a part of this amazing show.

“As a middle school teacher, I work with the developing adolescent voice. This musical presented a wonderful opportunity to challenge my middle school students to perform at a higher level. I have enjoyed seeing my students flourish during this production and can already see them growing in confidence.”

Tolar said the show itself has gotten everyone in the holiday spirit.

“It has been a pleasure for me to work with the creative team of adults who fly under the radar during productions like this,” she said. “The difficulty of the music in this show and the level of professionalism has definitely been a learning experience for me.” 

Advance tickets are available now for $10 at FX Hair Design & Color Studio, 706-253-5188, and from any cast member. Tickets at the door are $12. Proceeds benefit the Pickens school system’s performing arts. 

The show will be performed this Friday, December 8th at 7 p.m. and Saturday, December 9th at 2 and 7 p.m. at the Pickens High Performing Arts Center, 500 Dragon Drive.