November 17, 2009 - December 20, 2009
By Marc Acito & C.S. Whitcomb
Directed By Jon Kretzu

Running Time: Appoximately 2 hours with one intermission.

After many sold out shows in 2008, Holidazed returns to Artists Rep for the 2009 holiday season.  This year, local writers Marc Acito & C.S. Whitcomb will be adding some fresh new sparks to the hilarious and heartwarming story. The do-it-all super mom and wife throws her Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas season on its ear when she takes in a feisty, pagan homeless teenager. Like the best spiked eggnog, a second helping of this unique and contemporary holiday play is a MUST!


Julia   Susannah Mars*
Nicholas   Todd Van Voris*^
Gabe  Michael Mendelson*^
Scott   Duffy Epstein
Luna  Ana Reiselman+
Padre  Steve Rathje
Mom  Vana O'Brien^
Evan  Evan Shely
Wils  Alex Thede & Parker LaRiviere (alternating)
Olivia  Taylor Thede & Anna Jane Bishop (alternating)

 Kieler Beers
 Kaia Hiller












Set Designer  Jeff Seats 
Lighting Designer  Jeff Forbes
Sound Designer Rodolfo Ortega 
Costume Designers Mary Rochon & Sarah Gahagan
Props Designer  Mina Kinukawa 
Stage Manager  Michelle Jazuk*
Asst. Stage Manager Toni McDowell-Laney*








*Member of Actor’s Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

+ Equity Membership Candidate

^ Member Artists Rep Resident Acting Company

Julia, a suburban mother of three, is preparing for Halloween. She encounters Luna, a homeless teenage girl on the street and feels compelled to bring her home. While Julia’s kids (especially daughter Olivia) are fascinated with the new person living under their roof, husband Scott and best friends Nicholas and Gabe are less certain that Julia’s made the right choice. A pagan, Luna hates the holidays, but sees an opportunity for a safe harbor. Things do not go smoothly: the family experiences a hilariously disastrous Thanksgiving dinner, meets several very unexpected guests and careens towards Christmas with the suburban status quo turned upside down. While Julia struggles with her need to be everything to everybody in her life, the ghost of her late mother badgers her with unsolicited advice.

Recommended for high school and adult audiences. Mature themes.

View photos from the show.
Check out this video of audience reactions from Opening Night of Holidazed 

Holidazed received its World Premiere at Artists Rep during the 2008/09 season and was extraordinarily received by audiences and critics.  Several other professional theaters around the country have expressed interest in producing the play.

Marc Acito is the author of two comic novels, How I Paid for College and Attack of the Theater People. He is a winner of the Oregon Book Awards’ Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and has had his work translated into five languages he cannot read. Marc is now a regular commentator on National Public Radio’s All Things Considered where he pontificates on subjects ranging from the economy to Girl Scout cookies. His newest play, Birds of a Feather, was workshopped this year at Portland Center Stage’s JAW Playwrights Festival. Prior to becoming a writer, Marc performed comic character roles in opera with such companies as Seattle Opera, Opera Ireland and Portland Opera, where he will once again tread the boards this fall in the west coast premiere of Philip Glass’s Orphée.

C.S. Whitcomb has been nominated for the Emmy, Cable Ace, Edgar Allan Poe, Humanitas, and Writers Guild of America Awards. In 2007 her play The Book of John was part of the JAW new play festival at Portland Center Stage.  This year her play Santos was a semi-finalist at the Eugene O'Neill.  Her new play The Wilde Boy is receiving its first public staged reading at Aritsts Rep in January as part of the Fertile Ground Festival of New Works. She teaches screenwriting and serves on the Oregon Film Board, the Advisory Board for Literary Arts and is president of Willamette Writers.  She is taking a group on a Trans-Atlantic Writing Cruise in April 2010.  For more on Cruise or classes email Cynthia at cwhitcomb1@aol.com

From an interview with Marc Acito and Stephanie Mulligan, Literary Manager, Artists Rep:

SM: What was the initial inspiration for the story?

MA: Years ago, a friend who's a mom in Lake Oswego complained to me how she resented being responsible for everyone else's magical Christmas. Since I'm keenly interested in the lives of women, I took note of the issue, particularly when another friend took in a tattooed, pierced art student and decided to simplify her holiday celebration. From there, the plot of Holidazed began to take shape. I wrote it first as a novel, but couldn't get the various elements to gel. So I turned to Cynthia to salvage it as a play.

SM: What are your thoughts on the collaborative process with Cynthia?

MA: Cynthia and I were already reading and critiquing each other's work, so collaborating was a natural step. This story wouldn't have seen the light of day without her. As a veteran of 29 movies of the week, she understands the mechanics of what it takes to get viewers back from commercial nine times, plus she's made it a mission to read a play a day for over a year now. So she knew exactly how to solve the problems that stopped my original story from working, whether it be changing a character or a plot point. Our agreement is that we only use something if we both like it. Luckily, we have the same taste, so we rarely argue. Mostly we try to impress each other with how clever we are.

SM: I love your characters. Are any of them based on friends or family members?

MA: All characters in fiction are like Frankenstein's monster – you create them out of spare body parts. Olivia, for instance, is very much a combination of Cynthia's daughter Molly when she was little, as well as my goddaughter Amy.


Carol Wallace

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The Reviews...

Check out this video of audience reactions from Opening Night of Holidazed 

"Holidazed ....is that rarest of pleasures: a fresh creation as well formed and finely tuned as an old favorite. No doubt, a favorite is what it's destined to be." - The Oregonian, 2008. Read the full review here.

Of this year's production The Oregonian said, "While Holidazed has a contemporary setting, its themes are as timeless as Christmas itself, making it a welcome counterpart to the season’s more traditional fare." Read the full review here.

"Made me laugh two years in a row." - Audience member

"A humurous, touching, fast-paced story with fantastic acting and directing. Nice added touches to this year's show." - Audience member

"I liked the touching, heartlfelt sentimentality ... The entire cast was outstanding and a pleasure to watch."
- Audience Member

“A humorous, touching, fast-paced story with fantastic acting and directing.” – Audience Member 

“A true Christmas tale for today’s audiences. “– Audience Member

“(This year’s show) makes the funny things funnier and the poignant things sharper.” – Audience Member

 “Entertaining. Funny. Touching. Made my husband cry.” – Audience Member

Click here to read the Oregonian's preview of the 2009 production.

Click here to read The Willamette Week's review of the 2008 production.

Click here to read The Portland Tribune's review of the 2008 production.

Click here to read The Portland Mercury's review of the 2008 production.

Tickets for Artists Rep's 2014/15 season are on sale now! Click on the link below to purchase or call our Box Office at 503.241.1278.