A holiday classic comes to life as Avon Players presents ‘Miracle on 34th Street’

Rediscover the magic of believing with this holiday play for the whole family

Theatergoers can check one thing off their holiday wish list: an enchanting live performance suitable for all ages as Avon Players presents Miracle on 34th Street running November 24-December 9.

Kris Kringle (Chris Stepnitz) and Susan Walker (Moxie Dubuc) from MIRACLE ON 34th STREET.
Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford

Doris (Patty Hegel), a desperate event coordinator, hires a last-minute replacement who calls himself Kris Kringle (Chris Stepnitz) to play Macy’s Santa and inadvertently unleashes a flurry of holiday magic that changes the world for her, her daughter, and the retail community of midcentury Manhattan. Kris’s unconventional methods include refusing to push overstocked toys and even referring customers to competing stores.

Doris’s daughter, Susan (Moxie Dubuc), is among those who are enchanted by Kris’s approach to playing Santa. An extremely no-nonsense parent, Doris has raised Susan not to believe in anything fanciful. However, when Doris’s neighbor, affable attorney Fred (Peter Buccilli), takes Susan to see Kris, the young girl begins to believe that he is no ordinary store Santa. Despite the positive publicity and goodwill that Kris has generated for the store, his claims that he is the real Santa Claus cause certain cynics within Macy’s ranks to see him as deluded and dangerous, resulting in a hearing to determine Kris’s competency. Is there enough Christmas spirit in this bustling metropolis to overcome the skepticism and judgment that surrounds Kris?

Miracle on 34th Street is based on the cinematic classic starring Maureen O’ Hara (The Quiet Man, The Parent Trap) and Natalie Wood (Rebel Without a Cause, West Side Story). The 1947 film was written and directed by George Seaton based on a story by Valentine Davies. Both Seaton and Davies received Academy Awards for writing for the film. Miracle on 34th Street was warmly received by moviegoers and critics alike. Bosley Crowther of The New York Times said “For all those blasé skeptics who do not believe in Santa Claus—and likewise for all those natives who have grown cynical about New York—but most especially for all those patrons who have grown weary of the monotonies of the screen, let us heartily recommend the Roxy’s new picture, Miracle on 34th Street. As a matter of fact, let’s go further: let’s catch its spirit and heartily proclaim that it is the freshest little picture in a long time, and maybe even the best comedy of this year.”

Director Matt Cason believes Miracle on 34th Street is the perfect way for audience members to revitalize their holiday spirit as working on the production has renewed his. “It was always my favorite time of year growing up, but it has taken on a different tone since my mom passed away some years ago. I know I’m not alone in that,” Cason said. The play’s uplifting story will be punctuated by seasonal tunes from a live quartet of carolers to maximize the Christmas cheer. “We’ve experienced our own Christmas miracle in the form of our cast members’ various special skills and experiences that they bring to the stage,” Cason said. In addition to singing and acting, other gifts that Cason cites the performers bringing to the production include dance, choreography, foreign language skills, cheerleading, and sign language skills.

Tickets for all shows are $25. Call 248-608-9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org.  Discounts on matinee tickets are available for seniors and students; call the box office for details.  Additionally, group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. All major credit cards are accepted. All seats are reserved. 

Show dates and times

  • Friday, November 24, 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 25, 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 26, 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 1, 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 2, 3:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 2, 8:00 p.m
  • Sunday, December 3, 2:00 p.m.
  • Friday, December 8, 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, December 9, 3:00 p.m
  • Saturday, December 9, 8:00 p.m.

Avon Players is celebrating its 77th season of bringing quality entertainment to its community. Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking), a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. This season a trip to Avon Players can feel even more festive as alcohol will be sold at certain performances. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 20% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248-608-9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:


  • Tim Falk (“Mr. Macy/Parade Santa”)
  • Janis Jacob (Ensemble)

Clinton Township

  • Patty Hagel (“Doris”)
  • Richard Marcil (“Judge Harper”)


  • Chris Stepnitz (“Kris Kringle”)


  • Sharon Jourdan (Properties Design)

Oak Park

  • Kelli Williams (“Mara”)


  • Caterina D’Angelo (“Sharon/Elf”)

Oakland Township

  • Peter Buccilli (“Fred”)
  • Deanna Lopeman Stepp (Hair Design/Makeup Design)
  • Emmie Maurer (“Josie/Lead Elf”)


  • Lana Hastings (Choreographer/Ensemble)
  • Charlotte Sutherland (“Megan/Janet/Elf”)

Rochester Hills

  • Bryan Clifford (Scenic Artist)
  • Jennifer Combs (Caroler)
  • John (JD) Deierlein (Set Design/Lighting Design)
  • Katelyn Hargrave (Caroler)
  • Tessa Hiesner (“Dutch Girl/Elf”)
  • Patrick Jordan (“Dr. Pierce/Mr. Bloomingdale”)
  • Ann Sweet (“Halloran/Megan’s Parent”)

Royal Oak

  • Moxie Dubuc (“Susan”)
  • Christiaan Lafata (Costume Design)
  • Tara Makar (“Shellhammer/Al”)

Shelby Township

  • Sally Adams (Scenic Artist)
  • Kelly Miller (“Sawyer”)
  • Tracy Murray (Caroler)
  • Mark Palmer (Sound Design)
  • Lori Smith (Producer)
  • Jean Zott (“Finley, Josie’s Parent”)
  • Sterling Heights
  • Emily Brown (Caroler)


  • Matt Cason (Director/Vocal Director)
  • Mary-Grace Chirco (“Elf/Newscaster/Duncan/Lou”)
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