Live Music events, Public Event

Jackson County Stage Company presents “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas

Map Unavailable

Date(s) - 12/16/2016 - 12/17/2016
7:30 pm

The Varsity Center



christmas in wales

Jackson County Stage Company presents “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” by Dylan Thomas

When: Friday and Saturday, December 16 and 17, at 7:30pm

Where: The Varsity Center, 418 S. Illinois Ave, Carbondale, Illinois

The Jackson County Stage Company presents Dylan Thomas magical holiday tale “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”. Local actor Kevin Purcell and SIUC Music Professor Emeritus Mike Hanes use Illinois composer Tim Schirmer’s music underscore written for the story to great effect. Music Director Hanes has chosen a talented local 9-piece wind ensemble and chorus of singers to round out this lyrical holiday tale. A special treat of the evening is the opening act: a capella trio The Free-Range Chicks.

Tickets are $15 for Adults and $8 for students. General Admission seating. Call the Stage Company at 618-549-5466 or go to to order tickets in advance. Beginning Friday, November 25, tickets can be purchased at the Varsity Center Box Office, Monday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. and one hour before performances. For more information email

Note: The Stage Company has gift certificates available that would make perfect gifts for your theater buff friends!


About the author: Dylan Thomas is lauded as one of the greatest of the twentieth-century poets. Born in Swansea, Wales, in 1914. Thomas was markedly influential in his short life and produced work that remains wildly popular today, including the bitter and poignant “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night” and the strikingly dramatic Under Milk Wood.” . He died in 1953. “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” remains one of his best-known works, and many families count a rousing reading of the poem among their favorite holiday traditions.

About the composer: Tim Schirmer is a native of East St. Louis, Illinois. He received a B.A. in Music Theory from St. Louis University and both the M.Mus. and D.M.A. degrees in Composition from the University of Illinois/Urbana-Champaign. In addition to works for the concert stage, Tim has composed extensively for the theatre–including 6 musicals, underscore for more than 50 plays and incidental music for more than 30 productions by the Tony-nominated American Players Theatre. His film/video work includes a score for the award-winning documentary “The Greatest Lakes.” Over the past 35 years, his music has received performances nationally and abroad. Note: the composer will attend both performances.

About the music director: Mike Hanes has spent over fifty years in Carbondale conducting and teaching music.   He is Director of Bands Emeritus at SIUC, having taught in the School of Music for 38 years before retiring in 2005. He directed the Marching Salukis for thirty years, as well as the Wind Ensemble and was also professor of percussion and music education. He was quite active in SIUC’s Music Theater program, conducting many operas and musicals, and served as executive producer and conductor for SIUC’s Summer Playhouse for many years.

About the actor: Kevin Purcell, a native of Chicago and SIU-C grad, has been performing “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” every holiday season since 1977. Some years he has performed it only once, other years he has toured the show and done more than 25 performances. He began memorizing the short story, word by word, as a senior in high school. Kevin has worked professionally in Seattle, and toured his other solo shows in the Pacific Northwest and Illinois. He has been seen on stage locally at The Stage Company in David Rush’s play “Lenny Dreaming,” a solo show about Leonard Bernstein. Kevin lives with his wife Lucia in Cobden

About The Free-Range Chicks: The Chicks are an a capella retro jazz/swing trio with an impeccable harmonic blend. They have been entertaining audiences in Southern Illinois since the day they hatched with old time jazz and swing mixed with a dash of country, pop or folk. They have been performing and touring since 2013. Molly Beckley and Ruth Ann Levinson reside in Cobden and Pat York resides in Carbondale.