Cody Dull always watched the holiday film “A Christmas Story” with his family at least three or four times during a movie marathon on Christmas Eve.
Now, Dull is taking the classic and putting it on stage with an adaptation that opens Saturday at Ghostlight Theatre in Surprise. This production also will mark the directorial debut for the 26-year-old Scottsdale resident, who moved to the Valley four months ago.
“The beloved story is a holiday tradition for so many people around the world, and I couldn’t be any prouder for this to be my first show as a director,” Dull said.
Dull recently graduated with a theater degree from a university in Nebraska, then moved to the Valley. He was looking to get his feet wet and discovered Ghostlight Theatre.
Matt McAuley, co-artistic director for Ghostlight Theatre, said the show is the first in the company’s history to use another director besides himself or partner, Richard Vines.
“We’re really trying to grow our theater and with us adding a black box production, that took more time for us, so we thought this show would the perfect one to bring in a new director,” McAuley said.
“A Christmas Story” revolves around a young boy named Ralphie who wants a BB gun for Christmas. But many of his friends and family think he’ll shoot his eye out.
Most of the movie will be found in the stage production, said Dull, as well as an older Ralphie who serves as the play’s onstage narrator.
“It’s about the spirit of Christmas and the element of surprise,” said Dull, whose birthday is on Christmas. “And it’s about being a kid at heart and treasuring moments.”
Ghostlight’s version features a cast of 20 from young children to adults, and Dull has enjoyed the experience so far.
“I’m having so much fun and it’s a learning experience having to deal with this many people and a lot of children,” he said. “But I’m loving every minute of it, and doing it around one of my favorite times of the year makes it even better.”