Free Christmas play set at Southside Baptist

Published 10:36 pm Friday, December 6, 2019

The cast and crew of Southside Baptist Church are performing a contemporary drama that will show how a family can come “Home for Christmas” together in the wake of a tragedy.

“Home for Christmas,” an original story written by Director Ernie Chenault, will be performed on the evenings of Dec. 14-15 at Southside Baptist Church, 917 Carolina Road. Admission is free.

The performance will open each night with two musical numbers prior to the start of the play, and signing will be performed for the hearing impaired. Childcare will also be provided for ages 2 and younger.

Email newsletter signup

The story follows two sisters as they deal with a family tragedy, Chenault wrote in an email. The play opens in 1986 with both women, their husbands and their families enjoying a traditional Christmas event — until a horrific event impacts them all.

Audiences will then watch the story move to the present day. The family still feels the lasting impact of that night, but there’s the possibility of a resolution, with all of them together for the holidays.

“Working on the premise that everyone responds differently to tragedy, the play provides personal perspective to the audience about how they would feel if something similar were to happen to them,” Chenault wrote. “Would they lean on their faith to see them through, or would they blame themselves for not being able to change the past?

“At its core, it challenges people to consider their own faith with a simple question: Am I really counting on Jesus for my salvation?”

The volunteers of Southside Baptist have stunned audiences for years with their excellent holiday productions, and their upcoming Christmas play showcases their quality set designs and acting.

“There are a number of places throughout the entire play where the dialogue flows well and the acting is particularly strong,” Chenault wrote.

There are four main roles, four supporting adult characters, a group of carolers and numerous children in this production. According to Chenault, more than 50 members of the church were involved in putting this production together, as actors, musicians, carolers, stage hands, lighting, sound, signers, nursery workers and greeters.

Allison Carr, a regular in the Southside Baptist productions, will take on the role of Mona Dunnmore, “a character that required the widest range of acting skills,” Chenault wrote.

Tonya Deaton, another veteran actor of these productions, will play Fran Maxwell, who is deeply concerned about the spiritual well-being of her sister.

Southside Baptist Church Students and Singles Pastor Josh Butts will play the role of Mona’s husband, Jack, while newcomer Jason Thompson will play Fran’s husband, Chip.

“Every member of the audience should be able to identify personally with at least one of these primary characters,” Chenault wrote.

“Home for Christmas” will be performed at Southside Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 14-15. The performance is expected to last about an hour and a half.

For more information, call 539-6629 or visit