Starlight Players Zoom Through Christmas with Jaunts and Jingles

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(Art by Barry Hunau)
Participants at ORSVP’s Christmas Jaunts and Jingles show will interact with this cast of enchanting Christmas characters.

    The Orinda Starlight Village Players (OrSVP) return in December with another Zoom game, this time with a Christmas twist. “It’s not a murder mystery; it’s a Christmas jaunt,” said writer and director Malcolm Cowler. “It’s aimed at a pre-teen audience, accompanied by parents, grandparents and other guardians. Our earlier shows were aimed at an adult audience, but this one is for pre-teens and anyone who’s young at heart.”
    Santa has lost his lead reindeer, Nosey Parker, and needs help to find him or Christmas will have to be cancelled. “Participants are invited to join Santa at the North Pole and save Christmas. They get to talk with everybody who lives at the North Pole,” said Cowler. Participants get to interact with characters including elves, a fairy, a snowman, a penguin, a toy soldier, a gingerbread lady and, of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus with their daughter, Belle. “Kids have to help each character in one way or another, by solving Christmas puzzles,” said Cowler.
    This show will involve more interaction with the characters than the previous two games that OrSVP performed in July/August and October. “We want to encourage and respond to the kids’ interactions as much as possible,” said Cowler. Performances for Christmas Jaunts & Jingles are Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7 p.m. throughout December. The shows are free, although donations are encouraged. To reserve links for the Zoom show, email info@orsvp.org.
    Because the local theater group has been unable to perform since May on its stage at the Orinda Community Center Park Amphitheater, Cowler started experimenting with Zoom and put together two interactive murder mystery games to keep patrons in touch with the theatre and keep people from going stir crazy. OrSVP’s actors, each in their own Zoom window, perform the show and the online audience interacts with the characters and figures out puzzles to solve the mystery.
    Participants have been very pleased with the games. Nancy Holloway participated in the Zoom murder mystery on Halloween. “In the midst of the COVID despair, many of us feel you shine like a bright star of hope. All of you are gems,” Holloway said. “It was engrossing trying to figure out the murderer in the Halloween show.”
    Orinda resident and former Mayor, Victoria Smith also participated in both the August and Halloween events. “The production quality of both events was very impressive, and the actors were great,” said Smith. “I really think that OrSVP’s ingenuity in producing live theater online has been very creative. I have seen a few other wonderful ‘live’ performances. San Francisco Shakespeare did a wonderful full production of King Lear, but few other companies have managed to do live theater. That OrSVP, a small company, has, is very impressive.”
    For more information, visit www.orsvp.org or email info@orsvp.org.

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