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'Long Christmas Dinner' traverses family dinners for 90 years

'Long Christmas Dinner' traverses family dinners for 90 years


BISMARCK, N.D. — The work of a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright will be brought to life in Bismarck this holiday season thanks to Dakota Stage Ltd.

"The Long Christmas Dinner" will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays from Dec. 5-15.

The play — written by Thornton Wilder — traverses through several generations of one family by representing, in accelerated style, 90 Christmas dinners in the Bayard home.

"You can expect what any holiday dinner is wrought with," said Amber Rae Bernhardt, executive director of Dakota Stage. "There's drama and frustration and in-fighting and sadness, but more than that it's about love and history and respect and growth and change and family."

The play showcases, through the changes in customs and manners of the Bayard family, the larger changes in our cultural landscape over the last 90 years, Bernhardt said.

The play will star familiar Dakota Stage actors, including Lindsay Fisher and Mark Kuntz, Bernhardt said. It will welcome newcomers Alanna Carlson and Dave Scott. The play is directed by Emmalee Riegler.

As with the rest of the main productions during the theater's 35th season, Dakota Stage will be hosting a "give back" performance.

The "give back" performance will be Dec. 8, with $5 from every ticket purchase going to the Bismarck Downtown Artist Cooperative.

"Every nonprofit is usually seeking support and it's how we stay alive," Bernhardt said. "And we've been given so much great support from our community throughout the years, and because of that, we're growing. We wanted to create an opportunity for other nonprofits to gain support and thank them for supporting us through the years as well."

Reach Ashley Wright at 701-250-8267 or


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