A Christmas Story

DeSales Catholic High School students rehearse “A Christmas Story.”

The DeSales Catholic High School drama department is expanding its program this year and opening its four-show season with “A Christmas Story,” a play based on the 1983 film of the same name.

While the drama departments of several schools in the area are returning to the stage in front of live audiences for the first time since the pandemic began, DeSales students performed “The Jungle Book” in February in front of a very small audience of 30 people, drama teacher Eric Rohde said.

For the production of “A Christmas Story,” seating has been increased to 60 people per show.

Rohde said he chose the play based on its broad popularity.

“We do better getting attendance with more name recognition shows,” Rohde said. “With ‘A Christmas Story,’ I have watched that movie for 40 years. It’s just a classic Christmas show. We haven’t done a Christmas show in December in a really long time, so I thought this was right up our ally.”

Rohde, in his 10th year at the school, said the program always presents one show per year. But this year, the plan is to do two full-length productions and two single-act plays.

He said this showing is also exciting because it will be performed at the school on a new stage. In the past, the school rented theaters from organizations such as the Little Theatre of Walla Walla or Walla Walla Community College.

For “The Jungle Book,” the school’s cafeteria was used. Now, the makeshift theater in the cafeteria has been improved.

“This summer we started getting a lot of donations to redo parts of our cafeteria that is connected to our stage,” Rohde said. “We installed a brand new stage floor. Then we installed a new wireless lighting system for light work.”

Rohde said about 65% of the student body is involved in the show, either on stage or behind the scenes.

The show opened Friday, Dec. 3, at DeSales Catholic High School. It’s showing Sunday, Dec. 5, and Friday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at desales-a-christmas-story.eventbrite.com.

Jeremy Burnham can be reached at jeremyburnham@wwub.com or 509-526-8321.

Reporter

Jeremy covers courts and public safety for the Union-Bulletin. He graduated from Eastern Washington University in 2019 with a degree in journalism.

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