What the ‘Heck'? It's Christmas

“A Christmas from Heck” features, from left, Rose Godfrey as Daughter, Jason Hedges as Travis, Tom Miller as Austin, Xanna Prentice as Chloe and Jerry Rose as Dad at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre. (ALLISON DURHAM/CORRESPONDENT)

Published: Thursday, December 1, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, November 29, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.

Family reunions typically happen around the holidays, sometimes with mixed results. But for one family, a Christmas homecoming is, well, pure Heck.


‘A Christmas from Heck'

What: Original play set around the Heck family of Texas.
When: Previews for charity at 8 tonight, opens Friday and runs 8 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Dec. 18.
Where: Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, 619 S. Main St.
Tickets: $10, $8 for students, seniors, educators and veterans
Info: 234-6278 or www.acrosstown.org


Opening Friday at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, the new play “A Christmas from Heck” recounts the Heck family during Christmas and is “a little circus of crazy,” Jessica Arnold, the director, says.

The play, by Texas playwright Rob Nash, is a brand-new work that portrays the lives of a very dysfunctional family often through adult scenes.

Tonight's world premiere of the play is a special preview performance with proceeds benefiting Meridian Behavioral Healthcare, Inc. whose mission is to promote recovery and give solutions to those facing mental illnesses, addictions and other challenges.

The Heck family of Austin, Texas, gathers each Christmas Eve for their family reunion. The family goes through all the joys and the conflicts that a family reunion can bring, from sibling rivalry, infidelity and basically every topic that can be imagined, Arnold says.

“I picked the play because when I read the unfinished script after meeting Rob Nash, it was like the universe was speaking to me,” she says.

Arnold said she was going through a tough time with the death of her best friend and her step-dad close to death. And when she met Nash, he made her laugh and that's what helped her get through it.

Jerry Rose, who plays the Dad of the Heck family, says for a Christmas play the work is a new way of dealing with a very old story.

“Almost an exaggeration of a common experience of people going home for Christmas, and to a certain extent dreading what will happen,” he says.

The play, which is intended for audiences age 18 and over, runs through Dec. 18. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 general admission. $8 for students, seniors, educators and veterans.

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