Check out our Lifetime of Christmas Cast Interview with Hugh Durden! Lifetime of Christmas runs December 7-17, 2017. All performances are Pay What You Can! Click Here for more information on A Lifetime of Christmas!
Question: What is your favorite holiday memory and why?
Hugh: We had gone to spend Christmas with my grandparents in Hattiesburg. We arrived, late on Christmas Eve, at a treeless home. Assuming that they had saved the decorating until I was there and eager to get to work, I asked when we were going to get the tree. My mother explained that anyone selling Christmas trees had already closed and gone home and that, no, they would not be open for last minute tree-shoppers Christmas morning, which, even at 7(?) years old, struck me as a missed marketing opportunity. I don't remember being so much perturbed as persistent. Eventually, I pointed out that the woods were full of trees and Granny had a flashlight. It was cold and dark, and the smallest pine was 60 feet tall, and for unfathomable reasons involving obscure Mississippi laws I was not allowed to climb any of them to get the top few feet. So Granddaddy's pink Cadillac went home heavily laden with holly branches. I remember an endless coil of copper wire, a broomstick, a mop handle, and adults holding branches and sighing a lot while I wired the branches into place. Even with memories that have probably been edited and enhanced by intervening decades, I can still see that poor, misbegotten Frankentree when it was finished, looking like no holly that ever lived. But then we loaded it with every ball and icicle, every inch of garland, every kernel of popped corn, and every cranberry that could be found, and it was really, truly, beautiful. It was a glorious Christmas tree in a home where, on Christmas morning, every horizontal surface above the level of the floor was covered with holly, There are a lot of questions that an adult could ask about that Christmas, questions a child wouldn't and didn't have, but there is no one to answer them. They really don't matter though, because I still have that tree here, inside me, evergreen.
Question: Why are you excited to share this show with your community?
Hugh: I love to act. In this show, I will be acting as if I can sing. You could call what I'm feeling excitement.