Christmas spirit can be found everywhere, even in a jail.
That's the idea behind “Hark Real Hard,” this year's Boogaloo Folklife Productions Christmas play, which will be presented Nov. 17 and 18 at the Lakeside Drive Theatre.
Tickets are on sale at the Union County Arts Council and Arthur State Bank on Main Street.
“It comes from the idea that sometimes good things are present in your life, you just have to listen really hard to hear them - and in this particular case, to hear the voice of Christmas,” said playwright Betsy Trakas. “This year, we wanted to go with something a little off the beaten path, so it's set in a jail.”
Mrs. Trakas writes Boogaloo plays from stories collected from Union County residents. She said some of the stories came from the county jail and some from the city jail.
“We have a really humorous story and a really serious one,” she said. “The serious one deals with a child whose parents were arrested and he had no place to go. One of the police officers kept repeating, ‘There has to be another way.' That was part of the inspiration for the Another Way Home that was here.”
The humorous story comes from cast member George Bruce, who operated Western Auto for many years. It deals with a very clever Christmas crook.
There are about 50 cast members, including many veterans from former plays. Director Ralph Lawson has written two original songs and his wife, Janet, is choreographer. Lawson said the main song ties in with the theme and title of the play.
The one-act play is about an hour long, shorter than Boogaloo's summer productions.
Producer Jane Wilkes said the family-oriented play is a good way to kick off the Christmas season and get into the holiday spirit. She said past Boogaloo productions have been showing on cable Channel 14, “The Union Connection,” and this has helped spark interest from some people who have never seen a live production.
“We have had many people say they have been watching and they plan to come; it should be well worth their money,” Mrs. Wilkes said.
“We hope all these folks who didn't know a thing about Boogaloo will come out,” he said. “It's a totally different experience to see it live. We have a really funny show this year. The jail works well for the message the play has to offer.”