Indiana State University Newsroom

Crossroads Rep makes the season brighter with a holiday show

November 29, 2017

Crossroads Repertory Theatre won't be a summer-only treat with the opening of its first-ever holiday performance, "The Santaland Diaries," on Dec. 8.

Based on a true story about David Sedaris, a young writer in New York City, "The Santaland Diaries" allows the audience to witness Sedaris' experience as an elf in Macy's Santaland - dealing with angry parents, awkward co-workers and crazy moms and dads.

Indiana State alumnus Charles Adams will step into Sedaris' (now-famous) shoes.

"David Sedaris is a 33-year-old man and has big hopes and aspirations; however, after a mere three weeks in New York City, he is broke and is forced to take a job as an elf in Macy's Santa Land," Adams said. "From there, he shares with the audience his many misadventures as an elf. This is one of those shows that you go to for a hearty laugh. It is like ‘Bad Santa,' only he is an elf. With that said, it is a show for older elves and not younger elves."

Luckily, Adams "has a natural way of talking with the audience," because he is the only actor on stage for 55 minutes.

"Normally, you have multiple characters with different qualities on the stage, and they each bring a unique energy to a show. They enter and exit, and this changes the tone and tempo of the scenes," said the play's director and State alumnus, Brandon Wentz. "For this show, we have to make sure that Charles is doing all of those things. There is a lot of focus on timing and tempo shifts so we keep the script flowing and dynamic."

Unlike many plays, Adams' character is real and still very alive. Therefore, the actor has to try to adapt to the situation to create an already existent Sedaris for the audience.

"I recently went to Macy's just to take it in and see the holiday decorations, the holiday shoppers and everything else," Adams said. "In seeing that, observing that, I've been able to enhance and better inform my Sedaris, as well as the world he inhabits in the piece. Sedaris and I differ in the way we both respond to situations, but we are alike in our ability to pick out the humor in it."

Crossroads Rep has been a summer stock professional company for 53 years, so this production sets the precedence of what is to come.

"We're interested in expanding our productions into the winter holiday season," said Chris Berchild, artistic director of Crossroads Reps and the play's producer. "This can be somewhat tricky, as this show runs in tandem with the end of the fall semester here at State, but we wanted an opportunity to offer an entertaining holiday performance for our fantastic audiences. We hope that the show is successful, as we would like to continue offering this programming in the winter."

If all goes well with this inaugural winter performance, the most wonderful time of the year could get even better in the Wabash Valley.

"If we find there is an audience for it, it may lead to a larger holiday shows or more performances," Wentz said. "I have been a member of the company for 15 plus years, and the idea of possibly starting a new tradition is very exciting."

Crossroads Rep will be collecting canned food drive as part of the show. Audience members who bring in a canned good to the performance will get a cookie and hot chocolate to enjoy along with the show.

"When the audience comes not only will they get to see ‘Santaland,' but they'll get to hear about what our Crossroads Repertory Theatre 2018 season will be," Wentz said. "It gives us a chance to give back to the community during the holiday season."

"The Santaland Diaries" will be performed 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 9 and 4 p.m. Dec. 10 in New Theater on Indiana State's campus, 536 N. 7th St.

Adult tickets are $10, non-State student tickets are $5 with a valid student ID, and State student tickets are free with a valid student ID. To purchase tickets, call 812-237-3333 or visit the New Theater Ticket Office, which is open noon-4:30 p.m. Monday Friday and one hour before each performance.

For more information, call 812-237-3334 or email



Writer: Antonio Turner, media relations assistant, Office of Communications and Marketing, or 812-237-3773