Theatre granting Christmas wishes for local families and collecting donations the Western Maryland Food Bank

The Cumberland Theatre will be conducting two charitable giving campaigns during the holiday season that will coenside with their winter programming.  The holiday offerings this year include Frosty the Snowman, November 30th – December 1st and Miracle on 34th Street, December 5th – 22nd.  Tickets and more information on both shows are available at

The theatre will be collecting “letters to Santa” during both shows.  Patrons of all ages are encouraged to write their wishes to Santa and place the letter in Santa’s mailbox located in the lobby of the theatre during the performances.  The letter should include Christmas wishes for a local family or child in need.  Letters will be accepted November 30th – December 15th.  From the group of letters, a few will be selected and the family or child will be “adopted”  for the holidays by the theatre’s staff and board and have their “Christmas wishes” granted.

CT will also collect donations for the Western Maryland Food Bank during both Frosty and Miracle.  For each non-perishable food item a patron donates, their name will be entered into a drawing to win a 2020 Season Subscription Pass to the theatre. 

“The Cumberland Theatre relies so heavily on the support of our local community and their donations of all kinds – monetary, service and materials,” said Kimberli Rowley, Artistic Director.  “So when we have an opportunity to give back to our patrons and their friends and families, we welcome it.” 

Rhett Wolford, Artistic Director adds, “We just want to do our part to make holiday season a little brighter for some of the people in our community who have been so supportive of our efforts here at the theatre this past year.”

Frosty the Snowman will run for just four performances: November 30th at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm and December 1st at 2:00 pm and 7:00 pm.  The show is under an hour making it ideal for families with small children.  The cast includes Melissa Caskey, Lillian Clark, Austin James, Connor McCabe, Wyatt Neff,  Jayna Raines, Marin Rose and Matt Clark as Frosty. 

The show is being sponsored by the Queen City Creamery and MIXX Boutique.  Tickets are available on the theatre’s website or by calling 301-759-4990.  A meet & greet with Frosty and friends is available for an additional fee.

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Marla Frees, known as the American Psychic, will be appearing at Cumberland Theatre for one weekend presenting a program of reflection, readings, humor, enlightenment and love.

Her program will discuss growing up in "these here mountains," surviving abuse, listening to one's own intuition, dispelling the myth behind being a psychic, and her own journey. She will also "read" members of the audience when she feels their loved ones who have passed have messages that need to be delivered. She promises the evening will be kept conversational but also informative, enlightening and even humorous.

A graduate of Bedford High School, Marla Frees left the Appalachian Mountains for

college and attended Miami of Ohio University. She has worked as an actress in Milwaukee, Cleveland, New York and Los Angeles. About 20 years ago, while filming a TV commercial she turned to her costar in the commercial and told him his father was happy about the baby. The "thing" was -- dear old Dad was departed and the baby was on the way. Since then, she has honed and refined her skills to become The American Psychic -- which became the title of her best selling book released last year. Marla's work as a medium has not only landed her on the book charts, she has also worked with countless celebrities (like Lisa Rinna and Harry Hamlin), multiple police departments, the FBI and other branches of the government in solving "cold cases."

Following the program, Marla will happily sign copies of her best-selling book, which can be purchased as part of the ticket price or at the theatre prior to and after the show.

Tickets are available at Buy a ticket/book combo and save $5 on your copy of American Psychic.

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Next up at Cumberland Theatre. Just in time for Halloween.

The Cumberland Theatre will continue their 31st season with their next main stage production, Dracula based on the classic gothic novel by Bram Stoker. The show will run October 10th – 27th with Thursday – Saturday shows at 8:00 pm and Sunday shows at 2:00 pm.

Produced in regional theatres throughout the county, this adaptation of the tale of the vampire from Transylvania was penned in 1996 by American playwright Steven Dietz. Closely following the plot of the novel, the play chronicles Count Dracula’s journey to England through a series of journal entries and flashbacks. Almost all of Stoker’s famous characters are represented including Dracula’s muse and the eventual heroine of the story, Mina Murray, scholar and vampire hunter, Abraham VanHelsing and the deranged lunatic R.M. Renfield. As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances—in a valiant attempt to save themselves from a hideous fate.

Leading the production is guest director Sam Little of Maryland Entertainment Group in Hagerstown. As an actor, stage combatant, and stunt performer, Little spent most of his career in Florida performing at numerous venues including Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando Rep., and Universal Studios. He has also worked with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in a variety of stunt, comedic and musical shows and served as Casting Director for the past two years and Lead Performance Director for the past three years. In Maryland, Sam has directed for Authentic Community Theatre, Hub Opera Ensemble, and Hagerstown Community College. He has also been featured on AMC's Making of the Mob, Fox News' Legends and Lies, and Investigation Discovery's Evil Step Mothers. Dracula marks his first time working at the Cumberland Theatre.

The cast features a group of veteran CT actors from throughout the region and east coast. Cast in the title role is Yury Lomakin who last appeared on the CT stage as Gerald in the absurdist comedy Meteor Shower. As is adversary, VanHelsing , Jim Wicker, a Florida-based actor, returns to Cumberland. Wicker has been seen previously as Selson in Noises Off and Ray in Yankee Tavern (also written by Dietz). Playing Mina Murray will be Courtney Feiman who has appeared at CT as Sophie in Mamma Mia, Chutney Wyndham in Legally Blonde and Poppy in Noises Off.

Cast as Mina’s fiancé Jonathan Harker and making is CT debut will be Brady DelVecchio. A graduate of the John’s Hopkins Peabody Conservatory, he has appeared as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tony in West Side Story, and most recently NankiPoo in The Mikado.

Other principal cast members include Matt Baughman as Dr. Seward, Kimberli Rowley as Lucy Westenra and Rhett Wolford as R.M. Renfield. Baughman’s recent CT appearances include Kyle the UPS Man in Legally Blonde and Gary/Roger in Noises Off. Rowley is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cumberland Theatre and was last seen as Corky in Meteor Shower and Paulette in Legally Blonde. Wolford is also a Co-Artistic Director. His recent on stage appearance include Ralph in Reefer Madness and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde.

Rounding out the cast in featured cameo roles will be Tim Bambara, Emily Haworth, Connor McCabe and Leo Wollan. The performances will feature live musical accompaniment composed, compiled and played by Chris McCabe. The design team includes Alexander Mulder (lighting design), Jennifer Clark (costume design), Brendon McCabe (sound design) and Wolford (set design). Sara Usary is the production stage manager with Bambara serving as assistant stage manager.

Tickets are available at or by calling 301.759.4990. A dinner theatre package option in partnership with the Churchill Pub in Cresaptown is available for the Oct. 17th – 20th performances. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Following the official opening performance on Friday, October 11th, there will be a wine and cheese party in the theatre’s lobby where patrons can meet the cast and crew.

Dracula is being sponsored by Dawn’s Family Practice and produced in cooperation with Dramatists Play Service of New York. The show contains some moments of violence and intimacy. Parental discretion is encouraged.

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