River Parish Community Theatre hosts holiday events

Published 12:06 am Saturday, November 20, 2021

RESERVE — After making the heartbreaking decision to cancel most performances of the highly anticipated 2021 summer show, River Parish Community Theatre is ending the year on a positive note with two family-friendly holiday events.

An interactive “Christmas in Toyland” event will delight families on December 5, leading up to a free Christmas concert on December 19.

“The community was wonderful in the face of what we dealt with last summer,” said Sean Roussel, president of the River Parish Community Theatre Board of Directors. “After having to cancel most of our shows for health-related reasons, there was a lot of disappointment, but also a lot of support and empathy. We couldn’t ask for a better community.”

Roussel added that RPCT is “really eager to get back and perform.”

“There will be a lot of excitement heading into 2022 with some good momentum, and hopefully it will be a much better year,” he said.

“Christmas in Toyland” is inspired by the princess tea with Cinderella that welcomed local families over the summer. This time, RPCT wanted to host an event geared to boys and girls with Christmas characters, refreshments, singing, and holiday-themed arts and crafts.

“Our people are excited to entertain and do different things rather than just shows,” Roussel said. “This is another venue for us to interact with the community and give them something to go to that’s family-oriented heading into the holidays.”

This event will take place on December 5 at The Bank, located at 139 Historic Front in Garyville. Sessions One starts at 10:30 a.m., while Session Two begins at 2 p.m.

The cost to attend is $30 per person. Pictures with Santa will also be available for $5 per pose. Seating is limited, and registration is available online at www.riverparishtheatre.org.

Sunday, December 19 marks the return of RPCT’s Christmas concert, “Songs of the Season.” The concert begins at 5 p.m., and admission is free to the community at St. Peter Catholic Church. Instead of collecting money, RPCT will be collecting donations of non-perishable goods for the St. Peter Food Pantry.

Last year’s concert was livestreamed from the altar due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the threat of severe weather. With the outlook of the pandemic improving, this year’s “Sounds of the Season” will be an in-person concert featuring approximately 90 minutes of traditional and non-traditional holiday songs.

According to Roussel, the free Christmas concert will also feature the exclusive announcement of RPCT’s 2022 summer show.

RPCT plans to continue hosting the free concert each year. In the coming months, the community theatre will be rolling out benefits through its new RPCT Gems program, which replaces the old Friends program and offers multiple levels of support. Sponsorships as low as $50 offer advance ticket purchases, invitations to the summer rehearsal social, reserved seats at the Christmas concert, access to a members-only lounge, and listing on summer programs, signage and the RPCT website. More information is available online at riverparishtheatre.org.

Roussel said community members interested in getting involved with RPCT can send a message through the website or through the River Parish Community Theatre Facebook page.

“Let us know how you would like to get involved, whether it is being a performer or assisting,” Roussel said. “You don’t have to be a singer or a dancer. You can be handy, or you can be good with people, be an usher or work on the set. A lot of work goes into this. We always welcome more people.”