Art Talk Monday: Fights Before Christmas

This week's Art Talk Monday is written by Rowan Johnson, of Louisiana Tech's Department of Theatre. There's no way you'll miss this show after reading the article. Get your canned food ready; it's going to be great! Louisiana Tech Theatre Students Cross Blades for Charity

Ushering in the holiday spirit, Louisiana Tech’s The Fights Before Christmas exhibits a mélange of everything we know and love about the season—sprinkled with the dazzling movement and combat performance for which the Department of Theatre is renowned.

As a new member of the Louisiana Tech Theatre family, it has been a particularly moving experience for me to see seven students, myself included, begin with one simple prompt—The Fights Before Christmas—and emerge on the other side in short time with a complete, dynamic, entertaining work of theatre.  And we couldn’t have had a better captain at the wheelfights than director Mark D. Guinn.  He has entertained every hairbrained idea we’ve thrown at him and helped us turn the better lot of them into something magical.  His patience and dedication to theatre, to his students, and to the community has been inspiring, to say the least.  We are lucky to have him on our team.

This production was written by the department’s advanced acting class and directed by its professor and director of the School of Performing Arts, Mr. Guinn, specifically for the Food Fights Project in which schools with strong stage combat programs compete to raise the most non-perishable food for local charities.  The process of creating this spectacular event has taken four months and steadfast dedication to the cause.  It began with regular think tank meetings over tea, struggling to birth the basic ideas that would grow completely beyond what any of us could have imagined.  There were eight unique perspectives:  Taylor Pittman’s “dark heart” concepts brought a particularly evil flair, Thomas Comb’s wholesome visions on the true meaning of Christmas showed heart, Payton Wilburn’s Christmas cheers were edgy and fun.  We found ourselves with eight phenomenal ideas.  And so, after vigorous edits and rewirings, each hour-long production concept became a holly-jolly concise masterpiece.  In this way, the show became an action-packed variety hour running the gambit from a backwards Christmas Carol to a Shakespearean family Christmas to an exciting twist on the Grinch story.  There are even holiday pirates!  There is absolutely something for everyone.

The cast includes Thomas Comb, Sarah Flanagan, Jake Guinn, Rowan Johnson, Rachael Pace, Taylor Pittman, Payton Wilburn, and Mr. Mark D. Guinn.  The Fights Before Christmas will run December 4th through the 8th at 7:30pm in Howard Center’s Stone Theatre.  For reservations, please call the Stone Theatre box office at 318-257-3942 or visit us online at  There is no cost of admission—all we request is non-perishable food to be donated to charity.  Louisiana Tech is the proud holder of the Food Fights championship belt, having raised over one ton of food for the less fortunate in Ruston, and plans to hold onto it with your help!  Your community—and the Department of Theatre—will thank you!

Have a very merry holiday, and happy fighting!

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