“Home for Christmas” program to examine diversity of holiday experiences through theatre and music

Home for Christmas - Dec. 4

The Hesston College Performing Arts Department will present “Home for Christmas” – a joint effort between Bel Canto Singers, conducted by Russell Adrian; Global Voices, conducted by Ken Rodgers; and theatre students, led by director Rachel Jantzi – that will explore what coming “home for Christmas” means for a diversity of people and cultures. The performance will take place Saturday, Dec. 4 at 7 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church.

“We are creating a show by piecing together our own stories; interviews from campus, articles and poems; and dance to communicate what coming ‘home for Christmas’ means for different people,” said Rachel Jantzi, director of theatre at Hesston College. “It doesn’t look the same for some of our students from around the world, or those who haven’t seen family due to COVID-19, or for any other multitude of reasons. For some, it’s just as it’s been, steeped in good food, family, tradition and nostalgia.”

The program will weave together original and adapted theatre pieces and music selections by Bel Canto Singers and Global Voices. Notable music selections include “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Away in a Manger” and “The First Nowell.”

Two student conductors, Kelly Miller ’22 and Isaac Tice ’22, will conduct selected choral pieces as part of their Hesston College conducting course.

“We will be spending several rehearsals pulling together all our original and pulled written resources, then we will begin staging scenes we create from that work and also bring in bits of modern dance as a storytelling device,” Jantzi said. “We plan to incorporate multimedia and an interactive art piece that will help tell our story.”

All performers fully vaccinated for COVID-19 will perform without masks. Audience members are required to wear masks. No tickets are required, but a free-will offering will be accepted following the performance.