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A Child’s Christmas in Wales…Past and Presents
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Written by Dylan Thomas
Thursday, December 6 -
Sunday, December 16

Thurs, Fri & Sat 7:30pm
Sat & Sun 2:00pm

A New Adaptation by The National Theatre of the Deaf

We are delighted to announce that our 2012 Christmas show will be produced in partnership with The National Theatre of the Deaf. All performances will be signed and spoken so all can see and hear every word.

Takes a nostalgic journey back in time through the eyes of poet Dylan Thomas.  Based on Dylan’s classic story of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” this new adaptation has been expanded into a very special evening.  Performed in both the beauty of American Sign Language and spoken word, it will prove to be “poetry for the eyes and heart.”

Holidays are filled with our childhood memories; we all recall spirited moments from relatives and friends, the excitement, the anticipation, the special quiet moments. Looking back there is a moment in everyone’s childhood when the realization comes that there was a special relative who made a lasting impression on our lives. The great poet Dylan Thomas was no exception.

Filled with crazy Aunts and Uncles, snowball fights and sibling rivalries, the story follows young Dylan as he receives a rare gift from a very special aunt. He not only discovers the meaning of Christmas, but his calling as a writer.

The show will also feature other stories, games and songs that will delight audiences of all ages.  Bring the whole family to the Playhouse to enjoy a truly wonderful holiday experience.

Generously sponsored by Citizens Bank.



Additional funding provided by The George A. & Grace L. Long Foundation, Bank of America, N.A. and Alan S. Parker, Co-Trustees




The National Theatre of the Deaf operates under the following comprehensive mission: To produce theatrically challenging work of the highest quality, drawing from as wide a range of the world’s literature as possible; to perform these original works in a style that links American Sign Language with the spoken word; to seek, train and employ Deaf artists; to offer work as culturally diverse and inclusive as possible; to provide community outreach activities that educate and enlighten, opening the eyes and ears of the general public to Deaf culture.  By placing Sign Language on stage, the National Theatre of the Deaf shows the world that Sign Language is a beautiful, powerful, visual language.

The National Theatre of the Deaf has been instrumental in opening up many worlds for the Deaf community. Captioned television, Telecommunication devices, Sign Language interpreters, bi-lingual, bi-cultural education are some of the benefits that have occurred as a result of the work the National Theatre of the Deaf.  There is no example of a faster advance of a minority group in the country and Sign Language is the third most used language in America. By producing this work at the Ivoryton Playhouse, our audiences will experience a depth of experience that cannot be equaled elsewhere.

The Little Theatre of the Deaf is the children’s wing of the National Theatre of the Deaf. Formed in 1968 to reach out to young audiences and their families, LTD performs original works, classic stories, fables and poems. Each year, LTD gives live performances to thousands of children and adults in schools and theatres across the United States.



In alphabetical order

Christina Stevens, Christina Cogswell and James (Joey) Cavaerly







Joey Caverly was born and raised in Royal Oak, Michigan and is a recently graduate from Gallaudet University with a BA in Theatre Arts: Production/Performance. It was at Gallaudet University where he made his first impression in the theatre world with notable performances in “Agamemnon”, “Urinetown”, “Spoon River Anthology”, and “L’Abbe de L’Eppe” but also worked on creating sets for plays between 2007-2011 at Gallaudet University. Other acting credits are “UnContented Love” and “Tales of Courage and Poultry.” Joey is truly honored to be an actor with the National Theatre of the Deaf and looks forward to an amazing year!


Christina Cogswell as born in Las Vegas, Nevada but was raised in Illinois. She attended Illinois School for the Deaf and has participated in theatre programming since her junior year of high school.   She attended Rochester Institute of Technology majoring in two degrees in the science fields and obtained two theater certificates in acting and technical theater.  Christina has loved working as an actress and back stage as stage manager.  This is her second year with the National Theatre of the Deaf and enjoys performing and touring all over the country.



Taylor Curtis


is thrilled to be working with the National Theatre of the Deaf again! Some New York and Regional credits include Who Maid Who (Mountain Playhouse), Polis (Columbia University), Pieces of a Playwright (Gene Frankel Theatre), The 24-Hour Plays (Wings Theatre), Blue Jacket (First Frontier) Waiting for Godot (Allen Bales Theatre) and The Candlelight Processional (Disney’s Epcot Center). Commercials: General Electric; Amtrak; Big Brothers, Big Sisters; and Spa Castle. Taylor hails from Alabama, where he has degrees in Theatre and Public Relations from The University of Alabama. Taylor is proficient in five weapons for the stage through the Society of American Fight Directors. He would like to thank Betty Beekman for this opportunity.


Christina Stevens is the oldest of 5 girls.  Born and raised in Michigan, she moved to Chicago to attend the Theatre School at DePaul University.  After completing her degree and working in theatre for a few years, she then went to Columbia College Chicago in the American Sign Language-English Interpretation Department.  Christina made her professional acting debut in Thresholds Theatre Arts Program in collaboration with Trilogy’s performance of “Maybe in a Moment”.  Christina is honored to now be a part of the rich history of NTD.


Director:  Brian Jennings
From 1993-2001, Brian Jennings worked with NTD as a voicing actor, playwright, and teacher. He performed on the national tours of Under Milk Wood, An Italian Straw Hat and Curiouser and Curiouser. Since leaving NTD, he has established himself as a teacher and theater artist based in Hartford. He serves on Theater faculty at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts, for whom he as directed numerous productions including Ragtime and Les Miserables. He has developed several physical theatre examinations of classic plays including a mask theatre adaptation of A Doll’s House and an adaptation of The Tempest set in colonial Africa. His adaptation, RAVE: The Bacchae of Euripides – Remixed was performed at the 2005 Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Last year, he was named the Academy’s Artist-Instructor of the year. As an Associate Member of Hartbeat Ensemble, Brian has developed performed the role of Nick Carter Flipside and has directed multiple productions of Ebeneeza: A Hartford Holiday Carol. Other acting credits include productions for major regional theaters, Off Broadway, and television. He has played the roles of Oberon, Malvolio and MacBeth as part of Artfarm’s Connecticut-based ensemble company. He has participated as a teaching artist in exchange programs in Cape Verde and South Africa. He holds degrees from Princeton University and the National Theater Conservatory. In 2004, Brian was named Teacher of the Year by the International Network of Performing and Visual Arts Schools. He was the recipient of a National Teaching Artist Fellowship in 2005 and the Gordon C. Ramsay Award for Sustained Creative Achievement at the University of Hartford in 2012. He lives in Bolton, CT with his wife, Eileen, whom he met when they were both voicing actors for NTD.


Executive Director:  Betty Beekman
Ms. Beekman has played a part in many different areas in the National Theatre of the Deaf’s (NTD) creative as well as management teams.  Ms. Beekman created and directed “Stories In My Pocket,” “Stories In My Pocket Too,” and  “The W-5 Stories Behind Who, What, Where, When and Why” for the last three national tours of the Little Theatre of the Deaf (LTD).  She recently directed the piece performed by the NTD in their recent appearance on the BBC’s “Planet Word” starring Stephen Fry as well as directed the piece used by David Michalek’s art film piece for the 2011 Lincoln Center Summer Festival.

When NTD was home based in Chester, CT, Betty created curriculum and taught at NTD’s community sign language program.  In addition, Betty teaches and performs workshops at high schools, colleges and universities. She also has taught at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.  For many years, she directed the company’s Storytelling Hours on the Green in Chester, directed freelance work, and worked as Education and Outreach Coordinator, as well as Tour Director.  Ms. Beekman has also written LTD’s extensive Learn and Study Together Guide for the past 8 seasons. She designed lighting for NTD’s national tours of All the Way Home, directed by Colleen Dewhurst and A Christmas Carol.  Betty has Production Staged Managed 18 of NTD’s national tours, 12 foreign tours and three television programs for WGBH’s Festival of Hands series: The Silken Tent, The Road to Cordoba and Issa’s Treasure, for which she also did voice over work.

Musical Director:

Stage Manager:

Set Design:

Lighting Design:

Costume Design:

Join us for an opening night reception with the cast on Friday, December 7 following the 7:30pm performance.


The timeless story by Dylan Thomas
A Child’s Christmas in Wales…Past & Presents
A new adaptation by the National Theatre of the Deaf
at The Ivoryton Playhouse
December 6th –16th

Ivoryton: The National Theatre of the Deaf takes a nostalgic journey back into time through the eyes of poet Dylan Thomas. Based on Dylan’s classic poem of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales ,”this new adaptation has been expanded into a very special evening. Performed in both the beauty of American Sign Language and spoken word, it will prove to be “poetry for the eyes and heart.”

Holidays are filled with our childhood memories; family gatherings, games with friends, the excitement, the anticipation and the special quiet moments. Dylan Thomas captures the magic of the season in this beautiful story filled with crazy aunts and uncles, snowball fights and sibling rivalries and one very special gift that changed his life.

The evening will also include stories and songs of the season, games and a whole lot of family fun! Don’t miss this opportunity to see and hear this holiday classic in the historic Ivoryton Playhouse.

Directed by Brian Jennings and Betty Beekman, the cast includes Christina Stevens, Joey Caverly, Christina Cogswell and Taylor Curtis as well as a chorus of local singers. Production designed by Marcus Abbott.

A Child’s Christmas in Wales opens on Thursday, December 6th and runs thru December 16th for 2 weeks. Performance times are Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2pm. Evening performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm.

Tickets are $30 for adults, $28 for seniors, $20 for students and $15 for children and are available by calling the Playhouse box office at 860-767-7318 or by visiting our website at (Group rates are available by calling the box office for information.) The Playhouse is located at 103 Main Street in Ivoryton.

Sponsored by Citizens Bank.

Tickets for press are available – please call for details (860.767.9520)

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