The City of Austin Parks and Recreation Department, Museums and Cultural Programs Division is proud to present “People of Color Christmas,” an original, comedic, contemporary Austin Holiday play written by award-winning Vietnamese American playwright Christine Hoang, Color Arc Productions.
Color Arc Productions, whose mission is to shine light on diverse stories through theater, film, and music, premiered its inaugural production “People of Color Christmas: The White Elephant in the Room” in December of 2015 at Ground Floor Theatre. This year, Hoang revisited the script and created the new iteration of People of Color Christmas that local audiences will get to experience this holiday season.
“To create this play, we asked ourselves: ‘What stories do you want to tell that you have not yet heard or seen or told on stage?'” Hoang says. “What did Christmas mean to you as a kid, and what does it mean to you now as an adult?’ The outcome of this internal exploration is a play that explores issues of family, race, class, gender, love, and relationships in a heartfelt and hilarious way.”
Set at an annual white elephant gift exchange party, POC Christmas is a comedy that universal audiences will find fun, hilarious and engaging. Through catchy a cappella tunes and tacky Christmas sweaters, discover the heartfelt stories these friends reveal and the white elephant re-gifts they will steal.
“People of Color Christmas” is the first show to tour the Museums and Cultural Programs Facilities, rotating between the Asian American Resource Center, the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, and the Dougherty Arts Center, respectively. Over the first three weekends in December, the production will relocate its holiday set to each of these three sister sites and perform for diverse audiences throughout Austin.
In advance of the performances, in November, the George Washington Carver Center hosted a free screening of “Born-Again Artist,” a documentary short by Christopher Kim chronicling the 2015 making of “People of Color Christmas: The White Elephant in the Room.” The 10-minute film won a juried Best Documentary Short Film award at the Austin Asian American Film Festival in November 2016.
The team bringing POC Christmas to life includes Creative Team Director Rudy Ramirez, Dramaturg Ashley Jernigan, Stage Manager Michael Logue, Asst. Stage Manager Cortney DeAngelo and Lighting Designer Amy Lewis. The cast consists of Lilli Lopez (Gabby), Christine Hoang (Mai), Allegra Fox (Sasha), Gene Zhou (Stu), Ben Bazan (Matt), Ryan Darbonne (Daniel), and Tony Le (Johnny).
Communities all over town get the unique opportunity to see the show at their closest location. A total of seven performances will include Friday, Dec. 1 and Saturday, Dec. 2 at 8 p.m. at the AARC (8401 Cameron Rd.); Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 8 p.m. at the ESB-MACC (600 River St.); Friday, Dec. 15 at 8 p.m. and Saturday Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. at the DAC (1110 Barton Springs Rd.). American Sign Language interpretation is available at certain shows.
Tickets to POC Christmas are free and can be reserved through Eventbrite. To get your tickers and for more information, visit colorarcproductions.com.