'Twist and the Trees': All-ages holiday show

Robin (Kelsey Stewart) and Mama Mouse (Katie Pierson) ask Oak Tree (Grace Clute) if they can build a nest for the winter -- and are unceremoniously turned down.

Photo by Trisha Walker
Robin (Kelsey Stewart) and Mama Mouse (Katie Pierson) ask Oak Tree (Grace Clute) if they can build a nest for the winter -- and are unceremoniously turned down.


LITTLE mice Sage (Hannah Roser), Chicory (Fiona Larsen-Teskey) and Dill (Leah Swanson) sing carrols with Mama Mouse and Robin, sheltered by Juniper Tree (Mary Haskins), Spruce Tree (Carrie Fuentes) and Pine Tree (Raven Levine).

“The Twist and the Trees,” adapted by director Sullivan Mackintosh, is an enchanting family-friendly tale that speaks to the spirit of the holiday season.

Mackintosh combined two winter stories — Beatrix Potter’s “The Tailor of Gloucester” and the northern folktale “Why Evergreens Keep Their Leaves in the Winter” — with C.C. Moore’s poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas” to “show the ripple effect of compassion and connection, something that I encourage everyone to carry beyond their experience in the theater …” she writes in the program notes.

The play focuses on two families: that of the Tailor and his children, Norman and Edith (played by Azmat Bhatty, Noble Williams and Lara Clute) and cat Simpkin (Katie Pierson), and Mama Mouse and her children, Sage, Chicory and Dill (played by Katie Pierson, Hannah Roser, Fiona Larsen-Teskey and Leah Swanson), who soon welcome Robin (Kelsey Stewart) into their colony. Both need shelter for the coming winter, but struggle to find it against the indifference and thoughtlessness of others.

But just when it looks like all hope is lost, kindness comes from the most unexpected places. And a skein of yarn — “the twist” — plays a key role in the fate of the two families.


PEAR Tree (Audrey Fuentes) explains why she can’t possibly shelter Mama Mouse and her family.

The play’s themes of light, giving, renewal, peace and love “are not specific to any particular tradition,” Mackintosh adds. “The story is a reminder of our shared need for love and compassion, and that kindness can come from unexpected places.

“To me, the winter season is about the spirit of community and the opportunity to bring light to an otherwise dark time of year,” she says.

It’s a feel-good story with a satisfying ending, guaranteed to make this holiday season a little brighter.

The play runs Dec. 8-10 and 16-17 at 7 p.m., and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m.


Dec. 8-10 and Dec. 16 and 17, 7 p.m., and Dec. 18 at 2 p.m., tickets available at columbiaarts.org, at Waucoma Bookstore, and at the gallery, 213 Cascade Ave. The play runs about 90 minutes including intermission.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for students and seniors, $8 for children under 10 years, and $15 for groups of 10 or more. For group tickets, visit the Center or call at 541-387-8877 ext.115. Dick and Pat Schmuck sponsor the CCA Holiday Theater production.

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