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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — A reading of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” performed by James Miller, a retired UW-Stout theater professor, is scheduled for the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium on Saturday, December 8, at 3 p.m.
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” was written by the Welsh poet, Dylan Thomas, and was first recorded by Thomas in 1952.
Thomas began recording work for the BBC in the late 1930s.
One year after making the recording of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” Thomas died in New York at the age of 39.
“A Child’s Christmas in Wales” is described as a prose piece that is an anecdotal reminiscence of Christmas from the point of a view of a young boy.
The piece starts out, “One Christmas was so much like the other, in those years around the sea-town corner now, out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve, or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.”
The piece goes on, “All the Christmases roll down towards the two-tongued sea, like a cold and headlong moon bundling down the sky that was our street; and they stop at the rim of the ice-edged, fish-freezing waves, and I plunge my hands in the snow and bring out whatever I can find.”
Miller’s performance in Colfax is sponsored by the Colfax Municipal Building Restoration Group.
Miller is an actor and a folk singer and guitarist and has directed plays at UW-Stout and also has directed plays at the Menomonie Theatre Guild and has designed sets and acted in Menomonie Theatre Guild plays as well.
Miller is known for his annual performances of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales,” and he has performed in a variety of venues, including the Mabel Tainter Center for The Arts.
This year, Miller performed “Dulce et Decorum Est,” a program of music, prose and poetry, at the Menomonie Public Library to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I.
The suggested donation for the performance of “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” at the Colfax Municipal Building auditorium Saturday, December 8, at 3 p.m. is $8 for adults. Children 12 and under are free.
All proceeds will go toward the Colfax Municipal Building elevator fund.
Concessions will be available by the Colfax Commercial Club.
CMBRG is raising money to build an addition onto the municipal building that will include an elevator servicing all three floors (basement, main floor and auditorium) as well as handicapped accessible bathrooms on all three floors and a renovation of the basement to make it a usable space.
The Colfax Village Board has authorized a commission made up of area residents, library board members, a village board member and the director of the library to do additional fund raising and to research grant opportunities for the elevator project.
The estimate to complete the elevator project is $700,000.
The Dunn County Barbershoppers will be performing both before and after “A Child’s Christmas in Wales.”