This weekend was the 22nd annual production for the Angel Tree Benefit by The Zane Trace Players.
As always, the ticket prices for the show were all donations depending on what viewers could give. All proceeds from ticket sales went to help benefit the Salvation Army"s Angel Tree. This year the Zane Trace Players will be shopping for about 100 children.
Shelly Tolliver, the assistant director and producer said, "The Salvation Army has a list of families in need every holiday and they put a child’s name on the tree. What we do is the Angel Tree Benefit, we raise money to help and go shop for those angels in need. This year the Salvation Army is in extreme need for help. "
The production of the event is done in a two month period. Everyone who showed up to audition in October was given a role, even if it needed to be written into the script. This year, there were about 60 cast members, a 20 full piece swing band and 20 more people behind the scenes. While production was intense to create a show in two months, the storyline was light hearted and fun.
"It’s set in a retired actors home, we have a lot of chemistry of feisty oldsters, if you will, but they are breaking the stereotype of what you wold expect, so there is a lot of good natured jabs and things like that. Basically a bunch of the kids come to help the retired home to celebrate Christmas, " said Tolliver.
This year was particularly special for the Tollivers, as a family member who was heavily involved in this production as well as in the community has passed away.
Rich Tolliver, the Director of the Angel tree said, "My dad was Dick Tolliver and he played Santa for 40 some years and he played Santa for us for 20 years and a lot of our people have grown up with him as the Santa they knew and loved and he was very charitable and giving person. Its kind of why we do what we do, he taught us those things so we are going to miss him a lot. "
The last chance to donate to the Angel Tree at the Salvation Army is Monday.