The Christmas Tree Ship
One family’s unsinkable mission to save Christmas
A ship. A storm. And a Christmas tale of heroic proportions. This heart-warming inspirational new musical is based on the true story of Herman Schuenemann, known as Captain Santa, who goes down with his ship on a storm in Lake Michigan – leaving his widow to raise their daughters, run the family shipping business and continue her husband’s mission of giving away thousands of Christmas trees to the less fortunate of Chicago. Can she take on the doubters and naysayers, or will she break under the pressures of widowhood, judgmental people and the restrictive customs of the day? What Barbara Schuenemann and her daughter Elsie do to resurrect Captain Santa’s legacy is nothing short of a holiday miracle.
Presented in partnership with Blue Gate Musicals, this dramatic new musical is brought to life by a talented cast of professionals – including several audience favorites and veterans of the Bird-in-Hand Stage.
Don’t miss this epic tale that will remind us all of the importance of tradition, kindness and the joy of Christmas.Buy Tickets Online »
Dinner & Show
Monday – Saturday: Adult, $59; Child, $30
Lunch & Show
Monday – Saturday: Adult, $55; Child, $27
Breakfast & Show
Monday – Saturday: Adult, $49; Child, $24
Monday – Saturday: Adult, $39; Child, $17
Guests dining with us before the performance should arrive at least 90 minutes prior to allow for time to enjoy their meal. If you arrive later than that time, we are not able to guarantee you will be finished dining in time to be seated for the live musical. Stage doors open 30 minutes prior to show time.
“I loved it and so did my husband who said beforehand he does not like musicals.”
— lscolvin, Union City, MI
Our Bird-in-Hand Stage makes it easy to relax and enjoy high-quality live entertainment, including Broadway-style musical theatre with a positive message, in a unique Lancaster County setting.
Escape your everyday world for a little while and enjoy our live stage shows. You’ll find yourself laughing, holding your breath, gasping, tapping your toes – uplifted and fully entertained.Schedule & Tickets »
Past Blue Gate credits include: Patrice Hopkins in The Best of Me, Eliza in The Gut Life, Fanny Miller in Stolen and more! Originally from: Orange County, CA; Training: BFA in Musical Theatre from California State University, Fullerton. Sight & Sound Theatre credits: Abraham and Sarah, Psalms of David, Voices of Christmas, Jonah and more! Local theatre credits: The Fulton Theatre, PRiMA Theatre, Servant Stage Company and more! Favorite roles include: Sarah in Abraham and Sarah, Morgan in Godspell and Nimue in Camelot. She also enjoys the role of Artistic Director of Cavod Theatre in New Holland, PA. Many thanks to Mom, Vinnie, Amelia and Ella and to God for loving us and “directing us to radiate the beauty and spread the fragrance of His Providence”.
Cassidy Giddens will be making her Blue Gate Musicals debut and is thrilled to finally get back on stage! Cassidy is a native of Shreveport, Louisiana, and a graduate from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, with a degree in Musical Theatre and Directing. Cassidy has worked as a professional actor in numerous states including Kearney, Nebraska, (Crane River Theater) and Pagosa Springs, Colorado (Thingamajig Theatre Company). She also has out of state recognitions with the National Association of Teachers of Singing where she placed third in the Regional Collegiate Competition and place first in the State Collegiate Competition
Matthew Porter is delighted to be working alongside so many talented artists in his Blue Gate Musicals’ debut at the Bird-in-Hand Stage. Originally from Detroit, MI, Matthew is a graduate of Siena Heights University with a BA in Musical Theatre/Theatre & Speech Communications. Some of the companies he has had the pleasure of working with include: Barter Theatre, The National Theatre for Children, The Croswell Opera House, and most recently touring the U.S. with Missoula Children’s Theatre as Teaching Artist/Performer in Robinson Crusoe, and Peter & Wendy. Matthew would like to thank everyone at BGM and Bird-in-Hand Stage, his family/dear friends, & loved ones whom he carries with him always on each new adventure, and you for supporting live theatre!
This is Robert’s first production with Blue Gate Musicals. Previous credits include: Dorothy in The Golden Girls Musical Parody: Pride Edition and Peter Daly in The Ninth Guest. He has worked with Disney Cruise Lines, The Lost Colony, Lexington Children’s Theatre, The Little Orchestra Society, and Chamber Theatre of Boston. He has toured extensively in Theatre for Young Audiences sharing stories across the country playing a variety of characters including half the world of Narnia and even a frog. Robert had the opportunity to work on and create a virtual Theatre for the Very Young experience, which included building his own Jellyfish puppet. Thanks to all the artists on and off stage!
Allyson Dodson McCormick, originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia, is excited to be making her Blue Gate Musicals debut in The Christmas Tree Ship. Allyson is a graduate of Averett University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance. Allyson’s regional credits include leading roles with Snow Camp Outdoor theatre near Greensboro, North Carolina and lead entertainer roles in the 2018 and 2021 seasons at Tweetsie Railroad. Allyson has also appeared in regional productions of Always, Patsy Cline, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. Allyson would like to thank her husband, Joel and fur babies, Pickles and Rudy, and Cheeks for their endless love and support.
Joshua is excited to be spending the holiday season in Pennsylvania! He is a recent graduate from Arkansas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in acting. Recent stage credits include Younger Brother in a concert version of Ragtime the Musical (Link Theatre Company), Matt in The Fantasticks (Link Theatre Company), Sparky in Forever Plaid (NCCA at Jean’s Playhouse), and Colonel Mustard in Clue the Musical (NCCA at Jean’s Playhouse). Joshua is also a cast member of the murder mystery and improv show, Dinner Detective, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
Catherine Patton is so excited to join the cast of The Christmas Tree Ship. Originally from Opelika, AL, she is currently based here in Lancaster County. Catherine holds a BFA in musical theatre from Samford University and has performed with various theatre companies around the country such as Hampstead Stage Company, National Theatre for Children, Birmingham Children’s Theatre, and Opera House Theatre Company. She was last seen on the Bird-in-Hand Stage as Dorothy Johnson in Stolen: The Musical. She sends love to her family and Ric of course.
Richard is so thrilled to be back at the Bird-in-Hand Stage! You may have seen him in this year’s show The Best of Me as Brock, Stolen the Musical as Jimmy Scott, and Christmas to Remember as Man #1. Richard grew up in Lancaster County and has been performing locally for many theaters including The Fulton Theatre, Dutch Apple Dinner Theatre, Servant Stage, and many more! Some of his favorite roles include Ensemble in Treasure Island, an Extra in Disney’s Newsies at the Fulton Theatre and Horton the Elephant in Seussical the Musical at Cavod Theatre. When not performing he can be found teaching acting classes and/or directing shows for kids! A big thanks to his friends, family, teachers, and God. Go follow him on Instagram @richard__weaver!
Kristina is making her Bird-in-Hand debut in The Christmas Tree Ship. Kristina recently graduated from the University of Mobile with a Master’s Degree in Musical Theatre. While there, she performed in shows including Little Women (Jo March), The Tempest (Antonio), White Christmas (Judy Haynes), and Le Nozze Di Figaro (Cherubino). In addition to her collegiate roles, Kristina has performed at several Herschend Family Entertainment parks. When she’s not on stage, Kristina designs and builds sets for theatrical companies, choreographs for show choirs, and continues her training in stage combat.
Our Bird-in-Hand Stage adds new flexibility to the concept of a dinner theatre in Lancaster, PA. To enhance your Lancaster County theatre experience, come early or stay after the show to enjoy a meal at our Bird-in-Hand Family Restaurant & Smorgasbord, where you can order from the menu or select from our mouthwatering all-you-can-eat buffet. If you’re looking for lighter fare, enjoy the farm-fresh choices at our nearby Bird-in-Hand Bakery & Cafe. Be sure to ask about dining discounts when you make your reservations.Restaurant & Smorgasbord
Our on-site dining options are a delicious way to round out your visit to our Bird-in-Hand Stage. For an even more memorable theatre experience, ask about discounted packages that include meals or lodging at our one of our conveniently located properties, which provide easy access to all the most popular Lancaster County attractions.