A Tuna Christmas
is a series of comedy plays that were written by Ed Howard, Joe Sears and Jaston Williams. The series comprises of Greater Tuna, Red White and Tuna , A Tuna Christmas
and Tuna Does Vegas . Greater Tuna was staged in the year 1981 in Austin Texas and was a great success. An Off Broadway premier was also done in 1982 and it was revived in the year 2000 at the St. Vincent Summer Theater. The popularity of this program led to the making of an HBO special episode that was aired in 1984 and it was produced by Embassy Television. The on air show was loved by the fans but was only aired for three months and had to be discontinued to due copyright issues. It was followed in 1989 by A Tuna Christmas.
All the plays are set in the fictional town in Texas called Tuna and the storyline neatly describes the daily life of people living in the town. It has hilarious comedy storyline with a subtle touch of satire.
The four plays are performed all across the US with direction being given by Ed Howard. The highlight of the play is that writers Sears and Williams are the only two actors in the play and they perform the roles of all the other cast be it male or female. Both these actors are simply hilarious with great comedy timing and to make things more interesting they do spontaneous acts as well as split-second costume changes. Red White Tuna was the third in this series, one thing that is very unique in this play as compared to the rest of the three is that all costume changes that are done by Williams and Sears are done on stage right in front of the audience whereas in others they do it backstage. This is also the only part that is not available on DVD.
Some of the characters that Williams portray in the play include Struvie (a disk jockey), Jody Bumiller (a taxidermist), Garland Poteet (a soda distributor), Dixie Deberry (tuna electric company controller) and Petey Fisk (humane society employee). Sears plays the role of Inita Goodwin (a waitress), Ike Thompson (a worker), Bertha Bumiller (housewife and Jody’s (mother), Thurston Wheelis (a radio jockey), Joe Bob Lipsey (the director of Tuna Theater struggling to direct a play Christmas Carol), Pearl Burras (Bertha’s aunt) and Leonard Childers (an entrepreneur). A Tuna Christmas
has been watched by personalities like US President George W. Bush and his Wife Barbara Bush in the White House. The play was nominated for a Tony Award for Best performance by a Leading Actor in a Role in 1995. It has won to LA Dramalogue Awards. A Tuna Christmas
also got nominations thrice at the Helen Hayes Awards.
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