Cultural Event Report




Cultural Event Report

We live in tough economic times wherein employment is seen as a blessing despite the indignity and difficulty that may be experienced while being employed. “The Santaland Dairies” is a play that is based on a memoir by David Sedaris about a job at a department store puts this belief to the test. The play aired at the Ellyn Bye Studio on 28 November of 2012. The play revolves around a man employed as an elf during Christmas at a department store. It shows the various issues that the Crumpet the Elf has to go through every day at the department store. At the end of the play, one is sure to ask whether being employed is worth it and or even if it is a blessing. Upon arriving at the event, it was surprising to see that so many people had attended and that so many people loved the theatre. The room was filled to capacity everyone eager for the show to start at seven that evening.

The lights dimmed, and the room quieted down for the performance to start. A spotlight illuminated the center stage revealing a Santa’s chair. The show starts with the entry of Crumpet the elf that is the main character in the play. Crumpet has just arrived in New York. However, he is out of money and is in need of a job. He then decides to take a job at Macy’s as an elf hoping to regain his economic footing. What he experiences is an exhausting one month of miserable children, deluded Santas, upset parents and a stream of indignities as an elf. The story may be grueling for Crumpet, but the audience is enjoying every bit of the story, as laughter seems to fill the hall every few seconds. The play has been used to exhibit people’s true nature as observed in the society (Forman 2009).

The things that Crumpet the elf has to go through the moment he dons his costumes are more than enough to have someone quit his job on the first day. Crumpet the elf endures the humiliation of having to be cheerful even when he is not. Especially when insults are hurled toward him, fistfights, panic attacks from his clients, bribery and even people publicly urinating on his set up. This play brings out the realities of working in such conditions during the Christmas season. The play understands the stress of the holiday-season and adequately portrays the ugly side of human nature that is common during this time.

In the play, Wade McCollum plays Crumpet. He has managed to stabilize many complicated disagreements in the play and in turn exhibiting skill in enhancing the depth in the character that is essential in sustaining a solo performance. He is also able to strike a connection with the audience by being in exemplary control of his character ensuring that he elicits in the audience what each stage appearance is needed. The play is a different kind of entertainment that is meant to make laughter out of the audience at different things and at different places. It is also meant to achieve manipulative maneuvers over an emotion that is beyond what comedy reading can do.

The strongest point of the play is a quiet instance, toward the end, when Crumpet is obviously shocked at human capacity to show kindness to one another. Crumpet is unable to utter a word for a short moment. This is the point where one looks at employment and considers it a blessing. After the end of the show, one leaves the place feeling renewed after a lengthy night of laughter and cathartic experience (Pavis et al 2008). Theatre is a true artistic form that allows people to laugh at situations that we would not find humor in if faced by it outside the theatre. Overall, a wonderful experience warrants another visit.


Foreman, G. (2009). A practical guide to working in theatre. London: Methuen Drama.

Pavis, P., Carlson, M. A., & Shantz, C. (2008). Dictionary of the theatre: Terms, concepts, and analysis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.


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