How The Santa Diaries Play Came About

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In late April 2012 Laura Ambler got a phone call from Tim Weigand of the Avalon Theatre asking if she would be interested in writing a play for this year’s Christmas season. After she and her writing partner, Mala Burt, confered, she replied…


Hi, Tim…

Attached is our proposal for the Avalon’s Christmas production. It is inspired by our recent book, The Santa Diaries. My writing partner, Mala Burt, and I had envisioned and planned on turning it into a screenplay so it seemed quite a lucky coincidence to get your phone call last week. We are thrilled to have the chance to put something together for your consideration.

We have adapted our story to be performed onstage, with ample opportunity to use local talent with a minimal production budget. We also inserted things locals will recognize immediately as well as create the opportunity for audience participation.

If after reviewing our proposal and think it might be worth pursuing, we’d love to meet with you and anyone else involved to see how we could more specifically embed ideas, actors, singers, musicians, dance groups, etc. that the Avalon would like to work with.

We look forward to your thoughts.

Sincerely, Laura

From: Tim Weigand []
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2012 4:08 PM
To: Laura Ambler
Subject: RE: Avalon Christmas Project


I love what you have,  Would love to see a script. The powers that be upstairs have it to read as well.  I am sure they will see it all.

I loved it. Will be in touch soon.


From: Tim Weigand []
Sent: Sunday, May 13, 2012 2:58 PM
To: Laura Ambler
Subject: RE: Avalon Christmas Project


We would really like to go with this.  WE LOVE IT and see the potential.  Are you and Mala available to do a meeting sometime? Just send some days and times over when things are convenient.

Thanks.  We are really looking forward to doing this.  I almost can’t wait until Christmas now.


From: Tim Weigand []
Sent: Monday, May 14, 2012 8:59 PM
To: Laura Ambler
Subject: RE: Meeting


Can you both come to the theatre?



05-18-12 – We have the first draft of the first act completed and we are tweaking. Play at this point is titled At Christmas I Believe.

05-20-12 – Laura sends me the first draft of her two original songs for the play.


Hi, Tim!

As promised here is our first draft of Act One. We’ve change the name of the project to “At Christmas I Believe.”

We’re looking forward to your thoughts, input, and suggestions.

We are so loving working on this project!!!!

Laura and Mala



Attached is our first draft (entire script) of “At Christmas I Believe.” We’d like you and your Avalon cohorts to have a read and give us your thoughts, input, etc.

Perhaps we can schedule a meeting when you’ve all had a chance to read and discuss?

We want to make sure that we’re doing everything we can do to make sure that this major fundraising effort is a success!

Laura and Mala

And so The Santa Diaries Project began…

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