Drifty, the beloved character played by Joy Williams for nearly 30 years is back again, to delight audiences at Swift Creek Mill Theatre. Each year the story is modified a bit, and this year, Drifty’s Calendar Countdown, teaches, inspires, and entertains families all over RVA, including my own!
Here’s why you should see Drifty’s Calendar Countdown at Swift Creek Mill Theatre:
Swift Creek Mill Theatre is the ideal venue for families, as it is smaller, so any seat offers a good view of the stage. Further, while it is both historic and beautiful, it is not pretentious. In fact, Swift Creek Mill Theatre is incredibly welcoming, complete with lights strung up throughout the theater. Prior to the show, guests may purchase hot chocolate, coffee, or two Drifty-themed cookies for only $5 for each of the aforementioned items.
Incorporating Early Math Skills
During the play, lovable but ditzy Drifty attempts to learn to tell time and how to correctly read a calendar. Both Mrs. Claus and Cowboy Jim demonstrate patience as they explain to her how to correctly utilize a calendar and a clock. My 6-year-old son was completely engaged during these segments, answering, “No! Drifty, that’s not right! It’s the big hand that’s for the minutes!”
There’s a reason so many families return year after year to see Drifty! Yes, Joy Williams has served the community as winsome Drifty for decades; but, all the cast members are outstanding. Ian Page (Cowboy Jim), who you may remember from Elephant & Piggie’s “We are in a Play,” impressed us with his unexpected dance moves with Drifty (Who knew a cowboy and snowman could do The Pretzel?!). And, Page Reisenfeld (Pepita the Elf) brought a calm but direct energy to the show. My 9-year-old said, “Pepita was my favorite, because no matter how many times Drifty got it wrong, she never got mad.”
Young Audience Approved
The show is 45 minutes long with no intermission. It moves at a quick pace, so children stay entertained throughout the entirety. The ideal age range for the show is 3-7, but my 10-year-old loved it, as did the lovely grandmother I met after the show. Tickets to Drifty’s Calendar Countdown would make a lovely early holiday gift for grandparents as a multigenerational outing.
After the show, patrons are invited to stay to meet both Drifty AND Santa Claus. This is a wonderful opportunity to take Santa photos and visit with the big man himself, as the staff takes their time with each guest. Pro-tip: The wait can be long. Head downstairs for refreshments while you wait.
Drifty’s Calendar Countdown runs November 27 through December 21 at Swift Creek Mill Theatre. For showtimes and tickets visit Young People’s Playhouse.