October 30, 2008

Theater department searching for ‘Santa experts’

by Vince Rhomberg

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Department of Theater is looking for Santa experts from the community.

The theater department presents the Santa Expert Contest, open to children ages 4-8, in order to find the five most expert Santa Claus scholars in Southern Illinois. Winners receive free tickets for them and their families to attend a presentation of “A Christmas Story” at McLeod Theater. Santa Experts also appear on the Santa Expert Panel at 1 p.m. on Dec. 7 in the McLeod Theater, where they will be interviewed by WSIU-TV’s Jack Tichenor.

Entrants should send a photo of themselves with a single page, handwritten letter of the best things they know about Santa Claus. Creativity is encouraged -- entrants may include artistic mediums such as crayons, pencils, markers, paint and drawings with their letters. The letter and photo should include the Santa expert’s name, parents’ names, address and telephone number. Note that photos will not be returned. Entries will be on display in the theater lobby during the play’s run (Nov. 20-Dec. 7).

In addition, the first 50 entrants receive a coupon for one free children’s ticket to “A Christmas Story.”

Deadline is Nov. 12. Winners will be selected Nov. 17, and will be contacted by phone. Mail entries to: SIUC Department of Theater, 1033 Communications Building, Mailcode 6608, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale IL 62901, attention Santa Expert Contest. Call the SIUC Department of Marketing at 618/453-7589 with questions.