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The Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville is ringing in the holiday season with Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition “Christmas Canteen,” which features a collection of songs, comedic sketches and dancing, from Nov. 26-Dec. 23.

The Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville is ringing in the holiday season with Gwinnett’s longest-running theatrical holiday tradition “Christmas Canteen,” which features a collection of songs, comedic sketches and dancing, from Nov. 26-Dec. 23.

“Christmas Canteen” which is geared for an audience of all ages, will take the stage as the inaugural production of the Aurora Theatre’s Lawrenceville Arts Center Grand Theatre on Thursdays to Sundays at 8 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25 and all patrons will be required to wear a mask, though that mandate could change during the performance’ run.

The show is overseen by Music Director Ann-Carol Pence, the theatre’s associate producer and co-founder who has been involved with “Christmas Canteen” since its premiere in 1996.

Pence, who will play the piano during the show, is joined by Associate Director and Choreographer Candy McClellan, Scenic Designer Julie Allardice Ray, Lighting Designer Kevin Frazier, Costume Designer Alan Yeong and Props Designer Kristin Talley.

The cast includes Cecil Washington Jr., India S. Tyree, Peyton McDaniel, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Joe Arnotti, Mona Swain, Amy Duffy and Brie Wolfe, with special appearances by Kymberli Green and Cole Ferguson.

“This year, we have much to be grateful for,” Aurora Theatre Co-Founder/President and CEO Anthony Rodriguez said. “We have witnessed a million dreams come true in the face of a pandemic.”

Aurora Theatre is also bringing back its annual “Festival of Trees,” which is geared toward helping the less fortunate. The festival will feature an event-record of more than 40 trees that will line the halls of the Lawrenceville Arts Center. The trees have been decorated by local businesses and patrons, and the community will vote which one they like the best by placing a new, unwrapped toy or nonperishable grocery item underneath it.

The toys will be donated equally between the Lawrenceville Boys and Girls Club and the Festival of Trees SW in Partnership with B.L.A.C.T. (Black Leaders Advocating for Cultural Theatre), while the food will be given to the Lawrenceville Co-Op. Any pet donations will be donated to Operation Santa Paws for Pets.

“We have an unbelievable partner in the City of Lawrenceville, plus so many incredible donors to thank who made the impossible, possible,” Rodriguez said. “Christmas Canteen allows us to offer up our heartfelt thanks, topped with a beautiful Christmas bow.”

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