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Christmas Classics: O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl

Coming Weekends December 3-19 to the Theatre Bristol ARTspace

Tickets on sale now for these heartfelt holiday stories from classic literature!

Note for parents and grandparents and others bringing children: The Little Match Girl, a children’s story by Hans Christian Andersen, includes the trials and the passing of the little match girl. It is all well done and the focus is on the opportunity to feel and empathize with the challenges and beauty she encounters, and to reflect on important messages. It ends very thoughtfully. First grade children did well with our production and it was wonderful to hear just how well they understood the show and were moved by it. We highly recommend parents read the story to their child prior to attending. More caution is given to the father’s brief harsh treatment of the child, than the portrayal of the girl’s passing, so it is a good time to talk with the child about what’s happening in the story and help them know they they are safe. The Gift of the Magi by O. Henry is another well-known story, and for this story you might invite your child to watch for the ways the couple gives each other gifts even though they have very little money. While not necessary, we do also urge taking a moment to read this short story in advance too. Both shows are visually engaging with Christmas scenes and period costumes, they move along quickly, and celebrate the spirit of Christmas. At Theatre Bristol, we believe it is important to bring these stories to our community, two among the most popular Christmas stories of all time, and to share great literature and authors’ work with children and adults of all ages. We hope you will attend.

Theatre Bristol announces a couple of perfectly matched Christmas Classics: O. Henry’s The Gift of the Magi and Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Match Girl.” These beloved Christmas stories come to the ARTspace Stage December 3-19. Performances are Fridays at 7:30 PM, Saturdays at 5:30 PM, and Sundays at 2:30 PM. Please visit for tickets and to learn more.

In the timeless O. Henry story of Della and Jim adapted by Mindy Starns Clark, “The Gift of the Magi,” a struggling young couple seeks to give one another the ideal Christmas gift. Each endeavoring to express their love with thoughtful surprises results in a Christmas with gifts more valuable than treasure.

The Christmas visions of a young girl who encounters coldness at home and in the world, kindle compassion in us that serves year round in “The Little Match Girl” short story by Hans Christian Anderson. Adapted by Dottie Havlik for the stage, the little match girl draws closer with each strike to the warmth she once knew.

Peggy Russell, long-time Theatre Bristol veteran and director, leads the pair of productions. “The Gift of the Magi” features Faith Vance as Della, Mason White as Jim, Amy Reid as Fran, and Tony DeVault as Peter. The cast of “The Little Match Girl” includes Chloe Campbell as the Match Girl, Cooper Knapp as a Street Boy, Amy Reid as the Grandmother, and Dan Gray as the Father.

Opening December 3 at 7:30 pm, the production runs for three weekends, Fridays at 7:30 pm, Saturdays at 5:30 pm, and Sundays at 2:30 pm, closing on December 19. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, with processing fees, and can be purchased at Tickets can also be purchased at the door, subject to availability. Performances are at the ARTspace Theare, at 506 State Street, Bristol, Tennessee. COVID-19 guidelines are subject to change based on current information so please follow and Facebook for updates. At this time, distancing will be practiced, vaccinations are encouraged, and masks are available to stem the spread of COVID-19.

Theatre Bristol’s “The Little Match Girl” and “The Gift of the Magi” is sponsored by Stephanie Snelson, DDS, with additional support by The Optimist Club, as well as the Tennessee Arts Commission, The United Company, HVAC, Inc., Summit BSR Roofing, Leticia Peltzer and ANT & Allergy Consultants, Celebrate Rentals, Citizens Bank, The Loafer, and WCYB.

Founded in 1965 by Cathy DeCaterina, Theatre Bristol is a community theatre serving all ages that also has the distinction as the oldest continually running children’s theatre in northeast Tennessee. Located on historic State Street in Bristol, it also serves southwest Virginia. Its Main Stage season consists of drama, comedy, and musical productions that take place in the ARTspace, a multi-purpose, black box theatre which seats up to 120, and at the Paramount Center for the Arts. Theatre Bristol is a volunteer-operated community organization and we invite you to get involved.

For more information, visit the Theatre Bristol’s website or Facebook page, contact Theatre Bristol at 423-212-3625, or email

“The Gift of the Magi” is presented through special arrangement with Eldridge Publishing Company. “The Little Match Girl” is presented through special arrangement with Dottie Havlik.

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