Victorian Christmas: Enjoy an Evening in 19th Century England
Dec. 9-21, 2011 (matinee & evening on Dec. 18)
614 S. Elm St. - Greensboro, NC
Join the Chesterton family in celebrating Christmas. Carols, poems, parlor games and witticisms are exchanged much to the delight of the audience.Victorian Christmas takes place in the Jones home making this one of the warmest and most unique Christmas celebrations in the State.
As guests arrive at Victorian Christmas they are greeted on the street by Dickensian carolers heralding the Christmas season. Having climbed the stairs, guests are attended to by the Victorian butler who takes their coats while ushering them into the dining room for scrumptious holiday treats. There are cakes, cookies, candies, hot chocolate & mulled cider. After treats and fellowship, guests then take their seats in the Gathering Room where they catch the Chesterton family beginning their Christmas Eve celebration.
The evening continues with beautifully sung carols, jokes bantered about, poems recited and even a little romance. The Victorian hosts, Gilbert and Frances Chesterton, lead the family and guests in a delightful evening. And don’t be surprised if an audience member or two is drafted into the show!
Peculiar People (a.k.a. Charlie & Ruth Jones), debuted the Greensboro production of the show in 2008, and since that time Victorian Christmas has become a holiday tradition for many families. All of Greensboro glistens with festal joy as audience members leave in warmth, happiness and absolute amazement of the evening’s events.
One of the more charming aspects of Victorian Christmas is the homey atmosphere coupled with the fact that only 60 guests per night are accommodated. This intimacy makes the evening sparkle with a captivating charm.
Tickets for Victorian Christmas are $17 per person. Groups of 5 or more receive a $2 discount per person (group sales must be purchased by phone - 336-253-4254). Tickets are not sold at the door.
Reservations are made prior to the performance by
or by calling 336.253.4254.
The show takes place on the third floor of
614 S. Elm St. - Greensboro, NC 27406
The celebration begins every night 7:00 PM for Hors D'oeuvres & Christmas goodies before the show. The production is approximately 90 minutes in length.
Merry Christmas and may God Bless Us Everyone!!
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What is "The Hub"?
Soooo glad you asked. The Hub is our nickname for all the various activities, community events, coffee shop, stage and residential housing planned for our magnificent building at 614 S. Elm St., Greensboro, NC! Take a few minutes to watch the slide show above that explains in more detail. But to be brief, our plans are to convert this old hotel into a hub activity which include the following:
Greensboro Grub: This is the community dinner we offer once a month. People from all walks of life find a home, a warm meal and loving interaction.
PB & Java: A Dessert Bar & Coffee Shop specializing in all things Peanut Butter! A community gathering place for coffee, internet, conversation, food and friends.
Spittin’ Image Performance Spot (SIPS): A place for actors, singers, performers, songwriters, poets and artists to offer their work to the community. A meeting place of joy.
Professional Academy of Performing Arts (PAPA):
Teaching & mentoring underprivileged urban kids in the Performing Arts. Eventually becoming professional school for all ages developing actors, dancers, singers and writers.
Namida Residential Studies: Using the 15 rooms on the 2nd floor, we hope to offer internships and training for others seeking to reach the City through the Arts and rich Community.
Over the next few years we will be raising funds (hint: notice the donation link below!) to make these plans a reality. Contact us and arrange an appointment to come see da place! We could have a meal together or have coffee on the front step and dream of the day we will drinking it on the inside!
How Can I Help?
Well, we can't do it alone! Really!! Please consider putting Peculiar People and The Hub on your prayer list! Pray for us. Then come to the Vision Weekend this November. And lastly, click the button below to donate online. Of course, we are available by phone, email or (even better) in person to talk to you about our dreams, our vision and our needs.
Check out our media sections for photos, videos, audio and promotional materials.
The Downloadable material on this page may be used with permission for promotional purposes only. Any use other than promotional purposes or without permission is strictly prohibited.
Feel free to contact Peculiar People by the following ways:
Peculiar People Inc.
P.O. Box 2664
Greensboro, NC 27406
Shipping Address (go ahead... send us a present...)
Peculiar People Inc.
614 S. Elm Street
Greensboro, NC 27402
Conforming or Transforming
Hilariously funny! Surprisingly touching. Based on Romans 12:1-2, this show begins with an insider’s look at the foibles of modern Christianity and ends with the truth and beauty of the Gospel. Left to our own devices; puffed-up knowledge, hypocrisies, petty criticisms, and quick judgements we sure can mess up the message. We need a grace infusion. The show includes "My Burden Has Been Lifted," "Sunday Special," and "Billy." Suitable for a wide variety of situations and all ages. Great for outreach situations, family nights, family camps. One of our most requested.
Approximate time: 1 hour
Many churches are looking for something to spice-up their annual Missions Conference. This series of humorous and poignant vignettes is just the recipe for the occasion. The presentation is includes content about foreign and home missions. Our goal is to encourage the missionary as well as inspire the congregation to see how their faith can be translated into action. Includes "The Clicker," "Missions Scriptures," and "Billy."
Approximate time: 1 hour
In this collage of vulnerability issues of self-esteem, loneliness, hunger for acceptance and of course, the gift of God’s love are explored. Excellent for family gatherings and community outreach.
Approximate time: 45 min.—1 hour
This presentation demonstrates how we can move from mundane prayers to a dynamic interaction with our Heavenly Father. It reveals the timeless vitality of God’s Word through the dramatic use of Scripture. Ideal for Worship services, prayer conferences, and Sunday School.
Approximate time: 50 min.
FM stands for Female/Male static! In this show the inner world of husband and wife relationships are in the spotlight! Close encounters of the worst kind! Be prepared to journey down halls of laughter and embarrassment as you will see yourself and your marital relationship with uneasy clarity. Includes "Diet Sketch," "Shoe Sketch," and "Word Picture." A must for retreat settings, marriage conferences, dinner theatre outreach and Valentine banquets.
Approximate time: 1 hour
ONE ACT PLAYS
Martin & Kate
Our favorite crowd-pleaser. This play is an intimate look at the sixteenth-century protestant reformer, Martin Luther, through the eyes of the person who knew him best, his wife Kate. As a young monk, Luther was plagued by guilt. He resented God’s high, unreachable standard set forth in the Gospel. (How well he understood our powerless position!) But through actually reading the Bible (which he hadn’t previously had opportunity to do) he came across Romans and the message of our Justification by FAITH. It radically changed his beliefs and therefore, his life. He gained courage, freedom, joy and ?a wife. Delightful, tender and inspirational, this show is packed with contemporary relevance on a historical backdrop. Ideal for Reformation Celebrations, Sunday evenings and family gatherings.
Approximate time: 1 hour
Earnest & Elizabeth - My Helpless Estate
This script was written to commemorate ten years of a medical mission to indigent people. But it’s surprising how universal the question is: Is Christ enough? Is his grace sufficient for our most difficult, on-going struggles? In the play Elizabeth Cowdry hopelessly wallows in her bitterness and self-pity. She’s an elderly woman with very few resources; she lives in poverty, her husband has died, her son and his family are too busy to care. Where is God in all of this? Through memories of her loving husband Ernest, their life together, their faith in God, and the grace they received she finally confronts the truth: Christ has regarded her helpless estate and has shed his own blood for her soul. Then we see a glimmer of hope for the future. This show touches on care of aging parents and needy neighbors, loss of a spouse, life’s changes that disrupt in violent ways. Great for pastor’s conferences, Sunday School, Sunday Evenings.
Approximate time: 45 min.
Have you ever noticed in the middle of singing a hymn you’ve sung all your life that your mind is on the fuzz ball on the sweater in front of you and how much you’d like to reach out and pull it off? Come on, now. Be honest.
We have good news! By bringing to life the person behind the hymn and what went into the writing of it, we can bring new insight to the words and meaning of that old favorite you used to sing as a child.
Peculiar People’s show, Living Hymns, seeks to do just that. Living Hymns is a series of monologues (and dialogues in some cases) in which we have sought to capture and distill the hymn writers’ personalities and highlight the power and presence of God in their lives. These people, like us all, have intriguing stories, some poignant, some tragic, some lively, and some reflective. But all constrain us to glory in God and revel in his mercy.
There are eleven hymnwriters from which to choose and the hymn should be sung in their entirety after the monologue by the congregation, a choir or a soloist. The scenes range from ten to fifteen minutes in length not including the hymn sung after each scene. So the length of the show is very flexible depending on how many hymns are chosen. Includes Fanny Crosby, Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, Elizabeth Prentiss (for "More Love to Thee, O Christ"), Horatio Spafford (for "It Is Well With My Soul"), John Newton, Isaac Watts among others.
Approximate time: 1 hour and 2 hour versions available as well as 7-15 minutes for one character.
The Happy Man (Re-Written for 2002)
You’ve probably seen witty, thought-provoking quotes taken from the writings of G.K. Chesterton. Ever wondered who this original thinker was? Well, we’ll tell you! He was a Christian journalist who lived in Britain at the turn of the century. He wrote daily articles for the London Times as well as many books, plays and poems. This full-length play is a highly energetic, fast-paced, endearing look at this happy man. His commitment to child-likeness is a pertinent picture for modern, driven Americans and his common sense response to moral, political and spiritual arguments are surprisingly up-to-the minute in their relevance. Wonderful for special occasions, dinner theatres, outreach events.
Approximate time: 1 hour and 15 min.
Before we tell you the What of our workshops, let us tell you the Why. We Christians must be prepared to speak to the coming generations in a language they understand. The Dramatic Arts is the language of the 21st century in America. We as a culture are thinking less and less abstractly and more and more visually. So we must be prepared to communicate the truth on this level.
Now the What: When we come into a church for a day-long workshop it is not realistic to expect full-fledged professional actors by the end of four to six hours. So through a short lecture on the philosophy of Christianity and the Arts, improv games, scene work, and ensemble building exercises we seek to inspire your group to use their gifts creatively and to seek a higher level of professionalism.
Our workshops are designed for late-teens and adults.
Approximate time: 4 & 6 hour versions availble for one day workshops. 2-3 day workshops also available.
Over the years the mission of Peculiar People has changed as we have sensed God moving us to new areas of wonder and frustration! For years our mission was to the Church, portraying & telling the news of freedom and grace. As it has been said, “we are evangelists to Christians.” In other words, it has been our goal to speak to the Church (through drama, of course) about wonder of God’s love and mercy. To remind congregations of why they came to Christ in the first place. We have found that in many circumstances, it is the people in our churches who most desperately need to be reminded of what the “abundant life” is really about: love, joy, peace and gratitude. And then to let these virtues lead you to joyfully loving others.
Sadly, many Christians have lost their “first love” and have become burdened with the junk and nonsense of the Evangelical subculture. In recent years we have been greatly influenced by Tim Keller and others who have inspired us and others to take the Kingdom of God outside the church and into the streets… so to speak. Hence, since moving to Greensboro, NC it has been our mission to “seek the peace of the city” (Jer. 29:7). It is our mission to bring the Kingdom of God in all its joy and wonder to the people of our city. In some ways you might say our mission is to put feet on our prayers when we pray “Thy Kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is heaven.” Our goal is to love others lavishly, work diligently and pray unceasingly for our neighbors and friends in our city and on our street.
We are seeking to fulfill our mission in two ways: 1) producing theatre and art that enhances our community; 2) bringing people together to experience community. This mission is becoming more and more a reality with advent of others partnering with us and the vision of The Hub.
We invite your participation, questions or comments about our mission.
After working several years with the Lamb's Players Theatre in San Diego, California, Charlie and Ruth Jones founded Peculiar People in 1987 in Birmingham, Alabama where they remained for 7 years under the love, influence and care of Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church. From Birmingham Peculiar People was next headquartered in Franklin, TN (a suburb of Nashville) where they attended Christ Community Church and traveled extensively. Soon after celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Peculiar People, Charlie & Ruth moved to Greensboro, NC. They are now “staying put” quite a bit, learning how to live, love and minister in their community (South Elm St. in Greensboro). They are exploring new ways of using the Arts to “give gifts” to their city and to announce the Kingdom of God with joy. Their community dinners and shows have been so very successful in fulfilling this mission.
The Jones have a combined total of over 54 years of experience in theatre and have traveled internationally with Peculiar People. Charlie and Ruth both write and act their own material which encompasses a wide variety of themes and styles from sketch comedy to full-length historical dramas. The main focus of their work is a desire to renew astonishment at the power of God's Grace and recapture a lost wonder and innocence.
Some fun Peculiar Statistics after 23 years as Peculiar People:
Approx. 1.2 million highway miles traveled - That’s about 3.5 years of solid driving... 24/7 (avg. 70,000 miles per year)
Purchased over 93,000 gallons of gasoline
Spent more than 6-1/2 years in motel rooms
Performed in over 1,300 churches or organizations
Performed “Who’s On First” well over 1,400 times
Performed “Billy” over 3,700 times
Traveled to 21 countries proclaiming the Wonder of God’s Grace (U.S.A., Canada, Mexico,
England, France, Holland, Austria, Ukraine, Germany, Italy, Malta, Greece, Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Kenya, Japan, Spain, Morocco, Panama & Alabama)
Consumed well over 17,250 cups of coffee (but that is probably an extreme under-estimate!)
Hey, give us a call (336-253-4254) or email us to inquire about having Peculiar People come to your place! Also look at the schedule below Currently we are gathering contacts and bookings for a Fall Tour as we head up to the Poconos for Sonship Week. Contact us to find out more.
Greensboro Grub!!! More fun than a person oughta have! Food, friends, talents, laughter and COMMUNITY!! So what is it?? Greensboro Grub is a monthly dinner we have in our apartment. We invite 40-60 to our 5000 sq. ft. apartment (which was once the Craven Hotel in the early 1900's). We put four 10 ft. tables down the 71' hallway and have a banquet. After a sumptuous dinner we move into the Gathering Room where we share gifts of words and talents.
Greensboro Grub (formerly called Supper Club) started in Tennessee to give us a sense of community and stability because we spent so much time traveling with our touring theatre company. (We have traveled 1.2 million road miles in 20 years and estimate at least 6½ - 7 years in motel rooms. God help us!!) I cook for a hobby, so we decided that on those weeks we were home, we would invite neighbors, friends and acquaintances over for some wine, food and camaraderie.
Since moving to Greensboro we have used this format to meet others, to help others meet new friends and to bring a sense of community to the downtown area. Each one of these events have more magical than the one before. We have been astounded by the wonder of it all.
If you want to get on the invitation list, fill-in the form to the right & be certain to tell us how you heard about the Greensboro Grub!!
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Just in case you don't know (slim chance of that since we are so famous) Peculiar People is a touring theater company based in Greensboro, NC. Our company was founded in 1987 by Charlie & Ruth Jones, who are still the primary actors, directors and janitors. Peculiar People has traveled the world performing original scripts and plays to hundreds of non-traditional venues and audiences.
Now that you're here be sure check out Charlie's blog under "News: Peculiar Updates" and click on the little orange square that gives you an RSS feed of future updates. And of course, check out the store!
Glad to have you onboard!!
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