2018 season at Lantern Theatre features holiday classics

The old Gleeson Farm, now Canal Corners Farm & Market, in Valley View, is just a stone’s throw away from the Ohio-Erie Canal and the Cuyahoga Valley National Park Towpath.  Folks from the area have known its 1905 Wisconsin-Style dairy barn as the big, red barn, but now recognize this impressive structure as the home of The Lantern Theatre, entering its eighth year of producing theatre for the whole family.

The 2018 season brings with it three popular holiday productions: “A Reading of The Declaration of Independence,” “A Cold, Creepy Reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and A Cold,” “Cold Reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” and the return of  “Huck Finn” in a new incarnation created by Great Lakes Theatre Education Department for this year’s “Classics On Tour” program.

On Dec. 21, 2012, during a blizzard, The Lantern Theatre presented their premiere of “A Cold, Cold Reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.” This Christmas classic has become a tradition for a hearty and loyal group of theatergoers and their families and established a formula that has been duplicated for Independence Day and Halloween.

“A Reading of The Declaration of Independence,” added to The Lantern Theatre roster in 2016, features hit songs from the 1770s, excerpts from “Poor Richard’s Almanac,” original scenes by Eric Schmiedl and a reading of our founding document. It’s a birthday party to honor our country that the whole family will enjoy and remember.

“A Reading of The Declaration of Independence” will take place at 2 p.m. June 30 and July 1. Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are suggested. Call 216-401-5131.

Jim and Huck on the raft
Chennelle Bryant-Harris as Jim and Chelsea Cannon as Huck in Huck Finn, adapted by Eric Schmiedl and directed by Lisa Ortenzi. (Submitted by Lantern Theatre)

“Huck Finn,” adapted from Mark Twain’s novel by Cleveland area playwright Eric Schmiedl, returns to The Lantern Theatre in a new, engaging production. This spring, under the direction of Lisa Ortenzi, with Chelsea Cannon as Huck and Chennelle Bryant-Harris as Jim, “Huck Finn” played to delighted audiences throughout Northeast Ohio. With wonderful, new production values, creative staging and charming detailed acting, The Lantern Theatre is thrilled to bring this production to The Big, Red Barn.

“Huck Finn” plays weekends, July 6 through 22, at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children 12 and younger. Call 216-401-5131.

“A Cold, Creepy Reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is a new Halloween tradition. Ichabod Crane, Katrina Van Tassel, Brom Bones and Sleepy Hollow are names that conjure up vivid memories of haunted country sides of long ago as told by Washington Irving, one of America’s first authors of notoriety and acclaim. The Lantern Theatre presents a harvest party in The Big, Red Barn. Come for cider, cocoa, baked goods, songs, poems and “A Cold, Creepy Reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” Washington Irving’s inspired and scary sketch of early American history.

“A Cold, Creepy Reading of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” is for the whole family and presented at 2 p.m. Oct. 27 and 28. Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children 12 and younger. Reservations are suggested. Call 216-401-5131.

From the first year, “A Cold, Cold Reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” has been a cherished holiday event that for many families contributes greatly to the meaning of Christmas. Beginning at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23, six brave actors and a piano accompanist will take the stage in Gleeson’s barn to read Mr. Dickens’ masterwork.  The one-hour reading will be accompanied by hot cocoa, cider, baked goods and Christmas cheer and will be followed by Christmas carols sung by all. Dress warmly — it’s a barn.

“A Cold, Cold Reading of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” is presented at 2 p.m. Dec. 22 and 23. Admission is $12 for adults, and $8 for children 12 and younger. Call 216-401-5131.


Image of last summer’s Declaration of Independence Company courtesy Lantern Theatre.

Leave a Reply