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Winter Tales Going Global?

State of the Arts

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Cristina Alicea
  • Cristina Alicea

Most people have their holiday traditions, and Vermont Stage Company is no exception. If you’ve seen any of its annual Winter Tales shows in December, you know that it’s a holiday “variety show” — albeit with a cohesive thread — with predominantly New England-centric stories and music.

This will be former VSC director Mark Nash’s last time writing the show, and he’s going out with … a twist.

“Going forward we wanted to mix it up a little more, and we thought that it would be good to do that in his final year,” says current artistic producing director Cristina Alicea. Their idea: to solicit stories from Vermonters who might celebrate holidays outside the state or in different traditions, as well as from new Americans who bring less familiar cultural traditions with them.

“My family is from Puerto Rico, and I grew up in Arlington, [Va.] … an area that was really diverse, and I experienced all kinds of holidays,” says Alicea. “It really enriched my life.”

Expanding horizons is generally good, and so is redefining tradition. That said, many people hew to the if-it-ain’t-broke-why-fix-it line, so VSC’s move is a bit of an experiment. “We’re just putting feelers out there,” says Alicea. “Perhaps next year we’ll take another step and actually search for plays about other holiday traditions. I don’t really know what’s out there.”

If you’ve got a story to share, email it to wintertales@vtstage.org by Friday, October 26. Word count: 2000-2500. Those whose stories are selected will be notified by November 16 and will receive a free pair of tickets to the show, along with a bound copy of the printed version.

Winter Tales, written by Mark Nash, produced by Vermont Stage Company, December 5-9 at FlynnSpace in Burlington, Wednesday through Saturday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 p.m. $27-$32.50. Sunday gala, $55. vtstage.org

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