Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre

Upcoming Show - December 5th - 17th, 2023

Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

The Blue Ridge Dinner Theatre and Ferrum College Theatre Arts announce receipt of a special license to perform Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas for their Winter 2023 season. The Theatre in residence at Ferrum College is the only Theatre granted a license to perform this show to date outside of Timothy Allen McDonald and Music Theater International (MTI).

The story of Emmett Otter is often recognized from the 1989 movie featuring Emmett Otter's Jug Band Christmas which originally debuted as a television special in 1977 directed by Jim Henson and is based on a children's book of the same name inspired by "The Gift of the Magi" by O. Henry. The story was adapted for theater by Timothy Allen McDonald, Christopher Gatelli and Paul Williams. MacDonald says he knows Emmet and Ma and all of the critters in Waterville will feel right at home with this production by Ferrum College.

McDonald’s journey with the story began almost 10 years ago when Paul Williams suggested it as his next project. The show was first staged with Godspeed Musicals in Conneticut in 2008 and 2009 where it sold out and people came from all over the globe before it hit some legal snags that kept it off stage for a decade.  Once the rights were cleared in 2019, the show eventually opened at The New Victory Theater in New York City among the first eight Broadway shows to try to come back from the COVID-19 pandemic closures.  

This season, the show will run in Ferrum, VA December 5th-17th and in Chicago November 20th through December 31st.  Chicago rehearsals began last Sunday.  While the Henson puppets will be on stage in Chicago and brought to life thanks to puppeteers who sing, act, and dance, the Ferrum show will feature puppets made at the College by the Theatre staff as well as human cast members and musicians.


Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas Program Opens in new window

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Mission Statement 

Ferrum College is a dynamic learning community where students enter with promise and leave with purpose. 

As part of the Performing Arts at Ferrum College, the Theatre Department serves the community by bringing together people of diverse ages and backgrounds to celebrate together, confront challenging ideas together, and create shared experiences, to build a sense of belonging. The Ferrum College Theatre Department teaches students to be collaborative, sustainably focused, and innovative problem solvers.

Message from the Ferrum College Theatre Department

We believe experiences in the performing arts benefit our entire community. Theatre brings people together and inspires us regardless of our age, creed or occupation. We invite anyone to join us at Ferrum College Theatre Arts.


The Ferrum College Theatre Department offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and a minor in Theatre Arts.

In addition, the Theatre Department offers on and offstage opportunities—including live theatre for adults and young audiences; an annual Renaissance Fair; creative drama workshops; main stage and lab production performances; and visiting artist performances—that are open to members of the campus and local communities including public and home-schooled students, adults, and seniors.