Woodbine Heights Drama Club stages 4th annual Christmas show

WhatsOn Dec 07, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

This Christmas for its fourth annual Merry Little Christmas show, the Woodbine Heights Drama Club (WHDC) will travel back in time to 4th century Mira, Turkey to tell the real story of Jolly Old St. Nick.

The hour-long, family-friendly play titled, In Search of the Real Santa, explores the origins of St. Nicholas through humour, emotion, and music. The show runs Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at Woodbine Heights Baptist Church, 1171 Woodbine Ave., just south of Lumsden Avenue.

Featuring a cast of 27 ranging in age from 7 to 73 and an elaborate set, In Search of the Real Santa is WHDC’s eighth original production.

“The plays begs the question: ‘Is St. Nick really the Coca Cola Santa Claus we’ve all come to know?’ In this show, Santa is a real person with all the good qualities, not the commercial stuff,” said Dennis Hassel, an Etobicoke-based actor and playwright, who serves as the Woodbine Heights Drama Club’s writer, director and co-producer.

“Those who believe in Santa essentially believe in Christ. We’re carrying on Jesus’ legacy through gift giving and good deeds.” 

Founded four years ago, the East York-based Woodbine Heights Drama Club is made up of members from Woodbine Heights Baptist Church as well as people from the community.

Around the time the theatre group was formed, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church was wrapping up its long-running food bank and meal service outreach programs.

The drama club came to be because the local church’s longtime pastor, Bob Paterson-Watt, wanted to find a way to continue to connect with the community. 

With that in mind, his thoughts immediately turned to Hassel. More than 20 years ago, Paterson-Watt saw him perform in a solo show called The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, which tells the story of the struggles of being human even in a context of faith. He also took two workshops with Hassel through the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Assembly about how to incorporate drama into teaching, telling stories in different ways and using theatre to share stories and messages from the Bible.

“I had a desire to share God’s word in new, vibrant ways that involved people directly,” Paterson-Watt said during a recent interview.

Together, they formed the Woodbine Heights Drama Club, a theatre group open to people of all ages from both the church and the community that uses modern-day ways to tell stories that have religious concepts.

“People are very involved and we have lots of volunteers and supporters,” said Paterson-Watt, crediting all of those who have given of their time to the group, including those who build props, design costumes and sets, and take care of other technical aspects.

The local drama club also puts on an intensive, weeklong drama camp every summer.

Every spring, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church also hosts an arts festival that includes visual art, music, poetry and an original live theatre production by the WHDC.

For more details, visit www.woodbineheights.ca


Woodbine Heights Drama Club stages 4th annual Christmas show

Original production features cast of 27

WhatsOn Dec 07, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

This Christmas for its fourth annual Merry Little Christmas show, the Woodbine Heights Drama Club (WHDC) will travel back in time to 4th century Mira, Turkey to tell the real story of Jolly Old St. Nick.

The hour-long, family-friendly play titled, In Search of the Real Santa, explores the origins of St. Nicholas through humour, emotion, and music. The show runs Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at Woodbine Heights Baptist Church, 1171 Woodbine Ave., just south of Lumsden Avenue.

Featuring a cast of 27 ranging in age from 7 to 73 and an elaborate set, In Search of the Real Santa is WHDC’s eighth original production.

“The plays begs the question: ‘Is St. Nick really the Coca Cola Santa Claus we’ve all come to know?’ In this show, Santa is a real person with all the good qualities, not the commercial stuff,” said Dennis Hassel, an Etobicoke-based actor and playwright, who serves as the Woodbine Heights Drama Club’s writer, director and co-producer.

“Those who believe in Santa essentially believe in Christ. We’re carrying on Jesus’ legacy through gift giving and good deeds.” 

Founded four years ago, the East York-based Woodbine Heights Drama Club is made up of members from Woodbine Heights Baptist Church as well as people from the community.

Around the time the theatre group was formed, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church was wrapping up its long-running food bank and meal service outreach programs.

The drama club came to be because the local church’s longtime pastor, Bob Paterson-Watt, wanted to find a way to continue to connect with the community. 

With that in mind, his thoughts immediately turned to Hassel. More than 20 years ago, Paterson-Watt saw him perform in a solo show called The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, which tells the story of the struggles of being human even in a context of faith. He also took two workshops with Hassel through the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Assembly about how to incorporate drama into teaching, telling stories in different ways and using theatre to share stories and messages from the Bible.

“I had a desire to share God’s word in new, vibrant ways that involved people directly,” Paterson-Watt said during a recent interview.

Together, they formed the Woodbine Heights Drama Club, a theatre group open to people of all ages from both the church and the community that uses modern-day ways to tell stories that have religious concepts.

“People are very involved and we have lots of volunteers and supporters,” said Paterson-Watt, crediting all of those who have given of their time to the group, including those who build props, design costumes and sets, and take care of other technical aspects.

The local drama club also puts on an intensive, weeklong drama camp every summer.

Every spring, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church also hosts an arts festival that includes visual art, music, poetry and an original live theatre production by the WHDC.

For more details, visit www.woodbineheights.ca


Woodbine Heights Drama Club stages 4th annual Christmas show

Original production features cast of 27

WhatsOn Dec 07, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

This Christmas for its fourth annual Merry Little Christmas show, the Woodbine Heights Drama Club (WHDC) will travel back in time to 4th century Mira, Turkey to tell the real story of Jolly Old St. Nick.

The hour-long, family-friendly play titled, In Search of the Real Santa, explores the origins of St. Nicholas through humour, emotion, and music. The show runs Friday, Dec. 8 and Saturday, Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 11 a.m. at Woodbine Heights Baptist Church, 1171 Woodbine Ave., just south of Lumsden Avenue.

Featuring a cast of 27 ranging in age from 7 to 73 and an elaborate set, In Search of the Real Santa is WHDC’s eighth original production.

“The plays begs the question: ‘Is St. Nick really the Coca Cola Santa Claus we’ve all come to know?’ In this show, Santa is a real person with all the good qualities, not the commercial stuff,” said Dennis Hassel, an Etobicoke-based actor and playwright, who serves as the Woodbine Heights Drama Club’s writer, director and co-producer.

“Those who believe in Santa essentially believe in Christ. We’re carrying on Jesus’ legacy through gift giving and good deeds.” 

Founded four years ago, the East York-based Woodbine Heights Drama Club is made up of members from Woodbine Heights Baptist Church as well as people from the community.

Around the time the theatre group was formed, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church was wrapping up its long-running food bank and meal service outreach programs.

The drama club came to be because the local church’s longtime pastor, Bob Paterson-Watt, wanted to find a way to continue to connect with the community. 

With that in mind, his thoughts immediately turned to Hassel. More than 20 years ago, Paterson-Watt saw him perform in a solo show called The Sacred Diary of Adrian Plass, which tells the story of the struggles of being human even in a context of faith. He also took two workshops with Hassel through the Canadian Baptists of Ontario and Quebec Assembly about how to incorporate drama into teaching, telling stories in different ways and using theatre to share stories and messages from the Bible.

“I had a desire to share God’s word in new, vibrant ways that involved people directly,” Paterson-Watt said during a recent interview.

Together, they formed the Woodbine Heights Drama Club, a theatre group open to people of all ages from both the church and the community that uses modern-day ways to tell stories that have religious concepts.

“People are very involved and we have lots of volunteers and supporters,” said Paterson-Watt, crediting all of those who have given of their time to the group, including those who build props, design costumes and sets, and take care of other technical aspects.

The local drama club also puts on an intensive, weeklong drama camp every summer.

Every spring, Woodbine Heights Baptist Church also hosts an arts festival that includes visual art, music, poetry and an original live theatre production by the WHDC.

For more details, visit www.woodbineheights.ca