In the spirit of Willa Cather’s My Ántonia, we asked our staff and the My Ántonia team to share their holiday traditions, their ideas of home, or how they honor their ancestors. Read their responses below!
Nik Doner (Cast Member): “Well, my NEW favorite tradition is something that started when I got my little dog, Chester. For the last 4 years since I’ve had him, I send out a holiday greeting card with a ridiculous picture of us in outfits. It’s silly, fun, and (according to those that receive the cards) it makes people smile. Mission accomplished.”
Barbara Lindsey (Cast Member): “My favorite holiday traditions are baking cookies, singing carols, either alone or with friends, and watching the old favorite holiday movies, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street”. I stopped giving presents a long time ago, and enjoy the holidays so much more now because they are no longer about spending money I don’t have to give stuff to people who don’t need more stuff. Now it’s about sharing goodies, music, movies, and the company of good friends and my wonderful family.” Pictured: Barbara, her siblings, and their spouses.
Sasha Bailey (Patron Services Manager): Sasha has always felt most at home when communing with nature. Born and raised in the wilds of Montana, for her going home means going to the mountains. Sasha is seen here throwing the perfect cast with her big brother, Ben.
Emily Kight (Dresser): “For me, home is wherever I am with my family (both biological and chosen) and where I feel most myself. My parents were married on Christmas Eve, so the holiday season reminds me of the power and importance of love. My favorite holiday traditions are spending quality time with friends and family, and expressing my love for them and my gratitude for all they bring to my life. Also, Chilean Milk Punch. It’s like Eggnog, but better.” Photo of Emily and her little brother, Carter, from 1995 when she was in her first stage production, ‘Scrooge’, and the theatre company had a Santa photo op on the stage after the show. Coordinating outfits lovingly made by Emily’s mother. Nailed it.
Alejandra Victoria Guzmán-Dyrseth (Box Office Lead): “My idea of home is at my parent’s house. Dad watching sports or cooking and my mom and I catching up and playing with dogs. My favorite holiday tradition is on Christmas Eve wrapping presents with my mom. It doesn’t sound like a fun time, but we do it every year and every year she has to fix how poorly I wrap gifts. (Sorry mom, I’ll get the hang of it eventually.) Music has been integral in our family for generations, so we honor our loved ones that have past on through music and spending time together.”
Woody Lotts (Tour Manager): Our Tour Manager Woody Lotts gets up to all kinds of shenanigans with his family over the holidays. Luckily they always turn it around into a great story. “Lotts gone wrong! Every year something went awry in our house like the picture below. In 1993, we got a real tree…in Arizona. It dried up and burned down. Here are my siblings and I in front the presents, where the tree should have been. Yes, Lotts goes wrong but we always make it work.”
Helen Marion (Cast Member): Helen enjoys a slightly sunnier holiday tradition in her hometown of Perth, Australia. “What are my favourite holiday traditions? Ones that I can’t experience now that I live in Seattle! I grew up in Western Australia, enjoying those Southern Hemisphere summer Christmases spent on the beach! These pictures were taken at my favourite beach in my hometown. Wintery Christmases were a fun newness during my first few years in America, but now I mostly just miss being back home, on the beach and in the sunshine.”
Thank you to our cast, crew, and staff for sharing their stories with us! There’s still time to see My Ántonia, running now through Dec 30. Click here for more info. As the days grow shorter and the temperature drops, we invite you to come to the theatre and experience a beautiful tale about home and how it lives in the people we surround ourselves with.