Natalie Hoogstra in character in TWU’s Upside-Down Christmas. Courtesy Jef Gibbons

TWU theatre puts a twist on the holidays

Upside-Down Christmas runs from Nov. 20 to Dec. 1 at Trinity Western University.

Trinity Western University’s theatre department is acting out the holidays in unexpected ways with their upcoming show Upside-Down Christmas.

The production uses comedy, drama, music, and dance to explore a fresh take on Christmas.

Upside-Down Christmas wants the audience to ask, ‘can anything surprise us about Christmas?’

TWU professor and director Angela Konrad, said the show is a form of ‘devised theatre,’ meaning the performers wrote the script themselves.

“The play is different in that the people in the ensemble have created it out of ideas and impressions of Christmas that have come up in the group. We had no script to start with.”

Prior to rehearsals, the all-women cast brainstormed ideas and memories of the holidays to create a final script.

“If there was something that wasn’t upside-down and unexpected, then it didn’t make the cut,” added Konrad.

Konrad explained the production is in the style of a variety show, so the audience can expect short scenes with dances, monologues, acting, singing, and more.

“If you love Christmas or hate Christmas, there’s something for you.”

A local second-year student and ensemble member Natalie Hoogstra, said this is the first time she has performed a devised theatre show.

“I was very nervous. As an actor myself, this wouldn’t be my go-to style, but I really enjoyed the process and being able to learn from it. It’s been fun to learn how to fail boldly. Because we created it, learning the lines was a lot easier than getting a script. We’ve put a lot of ourselves into the show and how we would talk.”

One of the scenes was developed from Hoogstra’s personal experience with ‘expectations and relationships.”

“It’s about inviting your friends over during Christmas, and seeing how it can change over time if you’re busy with school, or you don’t see each other often. When you leave high school, you lose touch with people you used to see every day.”

Konrad added the group of performers possess a lot of talent.

“This ensemble is composed of some really fabulous, smart, talented, creative young women and it’s been a real joy to be able to work with a room full of women who are going to leave this place when they graduate and go out and change the world.”

Upside-Down Christmas runs every day until Dec. 1, except on Nov. 25 and 26, at TWU’s SAMC Theatre at 7600 Glover Rd.

Tickets cost $14 for adults, $12 for students and seniors and can be purchased online at or by phone at 604-513-2188.

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