Pines Players Hope Holiday Show Sparks Interest

OCEAN CITY – A community theater group is hoping to use a holiday performance next week to renew interest in the struggling organization.

The Pines Players will host “Another Night Before Christmas” Dec. 12-14 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church’s Life Center. Members of the group are hoping the show will generate exposure for the group as it prepares to launch its first membership drive in years in 2015.

Karen McClure, president of the Pines Players, says that after several years of trying to find a place to call home, the group has finally found a stable performance location in St. Peter’s.

“We’re definitely pointed in the right direction now,” McClure said.

She said the theater group had struggled since losing its home venue in Ocean Pines with the demolition of the old community hall. Since then, performances have been irregular and moved from place to place. After a well-received spring show at St. Peter’s, though, McClure says the group has found a permanent location.

“They’ve been very hospitable,” she said of the church.

Now that the group has a facility where it can host regular performances, McClure reports the goal is to offer several annual performances and to formally launch a membership drive. In recent years, the organization’s roster has diminished to about 20 people. Since the spring performance, however, a few new people have already expressed interested in the group.

“If we can continue to build on that, we’ll have a nice mix of skills and interests,” McClure said.

Along with its membership, the Pines Players hope to grow its scholarship fund. Although the group at one time awarded regular higher education scholarships to local students, in recent years those have been few and far between.

“There are so many talented kids we’d love to support them,” McClure said.

She says the Christmas show will help the group’s scholarship fund and will enable the Pines Players to make a donation to St. Peter’s, which hosts a weekly soup kitchen.

Admission, which includes the show, dinner and wine, is $25.

“Twenty-five dollars is a bargain for dinner and live musical theater,” McClure said.

She says “Another Night Before Christmas” is the story of a cynical social worker who finds herself locked in an apartment with a homeless burglar who thinks he’s Santa. While the play, which McClure says is appropriate for a PG-13 audience, is funny, it stays true to traditional Christmas values.

“It’s a funny play but it’s also kind of sweet,” she said.

For reservations, call 410-600-0462.