Reindeer on the Roof

Role:

Father

What:

“Reindeer on the Roof”

a play by Mildred Hark and Noel McQueen

Where:

Stewart Avenue School, Galt (now Cambridge), Ontario

When:

December, 1971

Who:

Myself

Janet Cassels

Hana Cejnar

Reid Weisler

This play was performed in my final year at Stewart Avenue School.

It’s a little one-act piece about a guy (me) who is determined to keep up with the neighbors as far as Christmas decorations are concerned, and gets a little carried away, spending a fortune and alienating everybody in the process. It seems like I can still vaguely remember the beginning of the show: my wife (played by Janet Cassels) is on the phone to somebody, and then I come bursting in the door with armloads of lights and tinsel. ”Well Jane,” I beam, “I’ve got the extra lights for the tree!” (or something like that)...

...and I completely forget the rest.

In the end I realize the error of my ways, know that the true nature of Christmas lies in friendship, not tinsel, and we all live happily ever after.

At least I wasn’t playing the King for a change.

Update: You know, for years I thought this play was something concocted by one of the teachers at Stewart Avenue just for us kids. I’ve long since lost my copy of the script, and simply never occurred to me that this might actually be a published play. But I’m wrong! I got an email in September 2003 from one Laurie Reyna, who says:

    Just thought I'd let you know that the authors of "Reindeer on the Roof" are Mildred Hark & Noel McQueen. Our community theatre group did the show (with a different cast and set) five years in a row 1990-94, and we're resurrecting it this year!

Laurie is a member of Southwest Theatre & Arts Resources, Inc., a community theatre group based in the Chicago, Illinois area. Their website is located here. Thanks for the update, Laurie.

I really liked acting in plays in Stewart Avenue School, but there was no sense at that time that acting was my ‘calling’ or anything. I simply fell into it because it was something my friends were doing.

(Acting became my life’s passion several years after I began attending Glenview Park Secondary School in 1972.)