The Toys Take over Christmas

Local Arts Reviews

The Toys Take Over Christmas

Scottish Rite TheatRE, through Dec. 20

Running time: 1 hr.

Let the toy shopping begin. Let the giving and sharing of presents, good company, decadent food, and family warmth begin. Let the Toys Take Over Christmas, as Second Youth Family Theatre does in this children's play by Patricia Clapp-Cone. We watch the activities of a naughty, stingy toymaker and her talking and walking dolls as they discover simple truths about gifts, love, and friendship. Inside a toy shop, there are magical dolls kept hidden and never sold to customers, as decreed by the toymaker herself. She proudly boasts that they are worth more than all the dollars in the world. The toymaker throws some magic powder over her new creation, Rag Doll Sunny, whose innocent curiosity rouses the other dolls to investigate other secret treasures that the toymaker keeps in her locked chest.

Each doll has her own quirks of character that are so appealing in friendships. It's important for people to be accepted as who they are. The Captain Soldier Doll is created to follow orders, but when China Doll and Rag Doll uncover the treasure, he becomes more inclined to follow his heart and trust his friends than take orders. China Doll's devout admiration for her own beauty is endearing and teaches us about having a healthy sense of self-love. Rag Doll is clumsy and doesn't know much about the world, but her dedication to trying again and again after one fall and another reminds us how to keep up hope when things seem hopeless. Like all good stories, there are universal lessons to be learned. This is a story about kindness and doing what feels right.

Leslie Hollingsworth is charismatic and perfectly floppy as Rag Doll and Shauna Hepner's adorable China Doll is easily liked. With a nicely designed set by Richard Smith and charismatic performances by all the dolls, theatre with Second Youth is a good place to take the kids and the folks during the toy-galore month of December.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More children's theatre
As Theatre for Children Matures
As Theatre for Children Matures
In nurturing children’s love for the stage, Coleman Jennings has helped a profession develop

Robert Faires, April 23, 2004

More Arts Reviews
All the Way
All the Way
In Zach Theatre's staging of this epic political drama about LBJ, the fight for civil rights feels particularly urgent

Robert Faires, May 1, 2015

Random Acts of Magic
Random Acts of Magic
The 2015 batch of Out of Ink 10-minute plays is a satisfying buffet of silliness and thoughtfulness

Elizabeth Cobbe, May 1, 2015

More by Heather Barfield Cole
Arts Review
Double Exposure
In Double Exposure, writer/performers Wayne Alan Brenner and David Jewell offer old and new material they've created, and their knack for capturing nuance in the mundane entertains

Nov. 17, 2006

Arts Review
9x9x9
In Randy Wyatt's '9x9x9,' Coda Theater Project offers a kooky thought piece on life / death and the power of God, but a lack of clarity in presentation undercuts some of the fun

May 5, 2006

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

children's theatre, The Toys Take over Christmas, Second Youth Family Theatre, Patricia Clapp-Cone, Leslie Hollingsworth, Shauna Hepner, Richard Smith

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle