Stage: Winter’s tales

Seasonal stage productions across the country

Arlington, Va.

Striking 12

Arena Stage

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

(202) 488-3300

Brooklyn-based indie rock trio GrooveLily and Tony Award–winning playwright Rachel Sheinkin turn Hans Christian Andersen’s frostbitten tragedy “The Little Match Girl” into a rock musical by transforming Andersen’s waif into a light bulb–peddling goth and adding a blend of original pop, folk, and rock music. Through Dec. 13


A Civil War Christmas

Boston University Theatre

(617) 266-0800

Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright Paula Vogel weaves together several stories, all taking place on Dec. 24, 1864. From First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s search for a new, German-style decoration—the Christmas tree—to a slave fleeing north with her daughter, A Civil War Christmas portrays a holiday marked by change, unease, and a welcome, if fleeting, peace. Through Dec. 13


The Snow Queen

Victory Gardens Biograph Theater

(773) 871-3000

Chicago composer Michael Peter Smith adapts this Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, about a young girl who rescues her friend from the spell of winter’s evil empress, into a folk-tinged musical. Director Jim Corti employs a surreal set and large-scale puppets, created by puppeteer Blair Thomas, to bring the Queen and her frosty domain to life. Through Jan. 7

Los Angeles

The Eight: Reindeer Monologues

Chance Theater

(714) 777-3033

Former MTV reality show writer Jeff Goode provides a tart alternative to the season’s sentimentality. After a scandal erupts on the North Pole, Santa’s reindeer break ranks to kvetch about their boss. The audience soon learns that Comet is a Bible-thumper, Vixen is a radical feminist, and St. Nick himself is more naughty than nice. Through Dec. 19


The Seafarer

The Jungle Theater

(612) 822-7063

A Christmas Eve poker game in a suburban basement near Dublin isn’t exactly the standard setting for holiday cheer, but even more unusual is the presence of the devil himself. As the drunken card game escalates, so do the stakes, until one player makes a Faustian bargain with the netherworld guest, then rushes to find redemption by Christmas morning. Through Dec. 20

New York


WaMu Theater at Madison Square Garden

(212) 465-6080

A dizzying array of acrobatics and choreography frames Cirque du Soleil’s story of a boy’s quest to find snow. Lush scenery and music create the mythical Arctic land of Wintuk, which is home to a host of gravity-defying inhabitants including freestyle skateboarders, in-line skaters, and a clowning tightrope walker. Through Jan. 3


Black Nativity

Intiman Theatre

(206) 269-1900

Langston Hughes wrote this retelling of the Nativity story, which features innovative dance and Gospel-style Christmas carols. Here it’s performed by an all-black cast of more than 30 actors and singers, many of whom have been performing Black Nativity at the Intiman for more than 10 years. Opening-night proceeds go to Seattle-area charities. Through Dec. 27

Continue reading for free

We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.

Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.