Ritz Offers Magic and Puppetry with Prancer

by Jennifer Keeton
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SHEFFIELD – The Ritz Theatre is hosting two public performances of the play Prancer on Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. The play is a production of Time Out for Theatre, the Ritz’s children’s theatre program. Tickets are $10 each and are available at tennesseevalleyarts.org.

The play—written by Greg Taylor and directed by Suzanne Reese-Mills—is based on the classic Christmas film Prancer. The play follows young Jessica Riggs, whose family has fallen on hard times. Still, she keeps her belief in Santa Claus and the idea that there are miracles in the world.

When an injured reindeer appears in Jessica’s backyard, she believes it is Prancer. While she is nursing the creature back to health, the whole community of Three Oaks eventually learns about Prancer, causing big problems for Jessica as she tries to return the reindeer home.

Prancer features a cast of local children and adults, as well as a life-sized puppet of Prancer, handmade by the staff of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, which runs The Ritz.

Christi Britten
William Freeman
Keith McMurtrey
Evie Frith and William Freeman

“Puppetry is, at its core, acting,” says William Freeman, the lead puppeteer for the show. “It’s my job to get you to suspend disbelief, to believe that an inanimate object is in truth, real.”

The two public performances follow a week of field trip performances, which have sold out. Families are encouraged to purchase tickets for the public shows in advance to ensure their seats.

Audiences can expect a show that is magical, entertaining, and touching.

“Puppetry in many ways is a dying art form,” says Freeman. “I hope that you will come out and help support it and the rest of the cast. They have worked very hard to bring you a fun, funny, and heartwarming Christmas tale.”


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