Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Determined to give his children a magical Christmas, David (Chris Schloemp) explains the reasons for following Santa rules.

Review – Poignant One-Man Show ‘Polar Bears’


Dec 2, 2018


Vibrant garlands and glistening lights festoon storefronts and neighborhoods in December. For David, holiday enthusiasm has become an obsession. His imaginative, careful planning ensures a perfect fictional Santa Claus for his children, with detailed rules like “packaging from ‘Santa Gifts’ must be disposed of at least two blocks away from the house.” When the festive spirit is clouded by a sudden, tragic loss, he struggles to maintain the magic for his family, as they face a new, sorrowful reality.

Tightly written by local playwright David Templeton with witty wordplay and a heart-wrenching message, ‘Polar Bears’ will bring you to tears and rekindle a childlike appreciation for Christmas.

Chris Schloemp is captivating as David, with unflagging energy. He brings to life a kaleidoscope of characters, from wide-eyed children chewing on truffles to burly firemen, altering his voice and body language with skillful precision.

David (Chris Schloemp) recalls the moment he stopped believing in Santa Claus.

Set in a cluttered attic, Templeton’s direction utilizes everyday objects to further the story. A battered holiday wreath is used as the steering wheel of a car and an adorable stuffed bear becomes David’s young daughter, Jenna. The clever use of props keeps the play lively and visually interesting during Schoemp’s monologue, grounding it in an environment conducive to reflecting on the past.

‘Polar Bears’is not a razzle-dazzle production; it is quietly moving, with beautiful imagery. “Love fills in the cracks” David muses, thinking of his family’s tumultuous relationships. If you are looking for a compelling, unusual play this holiday season, consider ‘Polar Bears’ for a memorable evening. 

Presented at The Belrose through December 15
Fri/Sat at 7:30pm

1415 5th Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901

Presented at Left Edge Theatre on December 23
Sun at 7:00pm

Left Edge Studio Theatre at the Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa, CA 95403
(707) 546-3600

Photos by David Templeton.

Author Website -

Travel Blog -
Twitter / Instagram / Facebook - alexachipman
Alexa Chipman Live Theater reviews


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

Listen to KRCB FM on Our FREE Mobile App

Tune into KRCB any time - CLICK HERE to download the Live Streaming app

Local Guide for takeout food

Sonoma County Restaurants who offer Take-Out Food during the Corona Virus Shelter-in-Place.
NOT on our LIST & MAP? Get LISTED:

Shelter-in-Place Sonoma County Business Directory - Coronavirus-COVID-19 Mandate.

Shelter-in-Place Sonoma County Business Directory - Coronavirus-COVID-19 Mandate. This is a work-in-process. PLEASE HELP US by sending missing info to

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

Flip through the pages of the print edition of the 2020 Sonoma County Gardeners Resource Guide

Your 2020 GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.