NAU Theatre presents The Long Christmas Ride Home, a play of contradictions

A drawing of a snowy scence with snow falling, a snow capped car through the scence via a road down the middle of the landscape with snow-covered mountains in the distance and the moon shining right in the middle of the image. 'Paula Vogel's the long christmas ride home. A puppet play with actors for mature audiences. Directed by Kathleen M. McGeever' written above the moon in the top-middle of the image. "Studio Theater March 2-4 at 7:30pm March 4-5 at 2:00pm" written in the bottom right. "March 2023" written in the bottom left corner.

The Long Christmas Ride Home is written by Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel and directed by Kathleen M. McGeever. This play of contradictions uses puppets, yet it is not written for children; it is framed by a holiday trip home but is not meant as a Christmas story.

The play presents the family using human actors and puppets inspired by traditional Japanese bunraku puppetry, or as Vogel is quoted saying, “one Westerner’s misunderstanding of bunraku.” The puppets represent the children in some scenes, while the puppeteers themselves take over as the grown children in others.

The play originally premiered in 2003 and has since toured in university, community and off-Broadway productions throughout The United States. It was Vogel’s 23rd play, and many consider it one of her best and most daring productions. The play was written as a tribute to Thornton Wilder’s The Long Christmas Dinner and his classic Our Town. In one short car ride and its complications, Vogel considers the reverberations of family and childhood into adulthood, along with the possibilities of long roads taken and not taken.

In The Long Christmas Ride Home, Vogel creates a beautiful story of love reaching across the veil of death in an attempt to heal the inescapable legacies of childhood.

Kathleen McGeever

Location: NAU’s Studio Theatre
7:30 p.m., March 2,3, & 4
2:00 p.m., March 4 & 5

Ticket prices:
General Public: $20
Senior (65+)/NAU Employee: $15
Student/Child (12 & younger): $10

NAU Communications