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Original play shows true meaning of Christmas

Kay Smithwick has been writing her entire adult life. The 58-year-old woman has written short stories, monologues and plays.

Her latest work, "The Dream," is a play Smithwick said is intended to show play-goers the true meaning of the Christmas holiday.

The play features the Plunket family; a family obsessed with the commercial aspects of Christmas.

Smithwick said the family undergoes a transformation in which they realize the true meaning of Christmas and change their beliefs from the commercial side of Christmas to the religious side.

"It's comedic, it really is," Smithwick said. "But it has a serious message."

A cast of eight, made up of members of both the Sunnyside United Methodist Church and the Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, have been rehearsing for a month in preparation for the performances, Smithwick said.

The play is sponsored by both churches.

Tyler Carpenter plays Edgar Plunket, the teenage member of the Plunket family who experiences the dream that changes the family's beliefs about the Christmas holiday.

"I do this for a message," Smithwick said. "And I'm glad people get a message."

The play takes part in two acts and action is split between the Plunket's living room and a mall, Smithwick said.

She said that Dawn Moore and Doris Matson have done a lot of work to make the sets look authentic, getting donations from local businesses to decorate the set and props to use.

The play is the second Smithwick-written play to be performed in Sunnyside.

Her first was performed around the same time last year, she said. It was a more serious production.

Last year, her play was received very well, she said.

"We had a full house both nights," Smithwick said.

Performances this year bookend the Lighted Farm Implement Parade, she said.

Performances will be held at the Sunnyside United Methodist Church at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 2, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 4.

"It's a busy weekend for Sunnyside," Smithwick said.

There's no cost for admission, but Smithwick said a canned food donation would be greatly appreciated.

Light refreshments will be served after the performances, she said.

"I think it's a good way to jump-start the holiday season and bring the true meaning of Christmas into peoples lives," Smithwick said.

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