Fairhope teen cast in national production of “A Christmas Story”

By Allison Marlow
Posted 11/12/21

Baldwin County audiences see Keegan Gulledge on stage several times a year as part of the Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre.

Next month audiences along the U.S. Eastern seaboard will get their first …

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Fairhope teen cast in national production of “A Christmas Story”

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Baldwin County audiences see Keegan Gulledge on stage several times a year as part of the Eastern Shore Repertory Theatre.

Next month audiences along the U.S. Eastern seaboard will get their first glimpse of the talented teen.

The 14-year-old Fairhope resident and Baldwin County Virtual School student has been cast in the touring production of “A Christmas Story” as the lead character of Ralphie.

Gulledge and his mom had just days to accept the offer and head to New York.

On Saturday he finished an eight-show run of “Seussical” in Fairhope as the lead character, JoJo. The next morning, he boarded a plane for New York.

“I just love to be on stage, I just love to act,” he said.

Gulledge traveled with ESRT to New York last month to perform “Godspell” in Central Park. While the group attended a master class there, casting directors spotted him for the first time.

When a last-minute casting call for “A Christmas Story” was put out on social media, Gulledge took a quick video on a cell phone and sent it to producers. He was offered the part hours later.

“We were just screaming, it was amazing,” Gulledge said of the receiving the offer.

His mom, Nicki Barker, said it was a whirlwind experience to prepare for the trip and ready the rest of the family to be without them until after Jan. 1.

“A Christmas Story” will tour much of the northeast portion of the U.S. and perform 30 shows in 29 days. Gulledge will not return home for Thanksgiving or Christmas.

“It was definitely a sacrifice, but this is his dream, we’re going to go for it,” Barker said.