The cast of Cape Island Theatre Company is offering its community and friends the gift of the arts this holiday with free weekend performances of "Carl's Kris Kringle," an original show written and produced by Cape Island Theatre Company Director Ray Crew.

The play will be performed on the second floor of the Old Grange Restaurant by Tony Clark at Historic Cold Spring Village, the company's home base.

The setting is Possum Grove, N.C., "a quirky little Southern town that is about to experience an unlikely Christmas miracle."

"Carl's Kris Kringle" tells the story of a dreamer, Carl, who buys a run-down radio station only to find the machinery is broken. To make matters worse, Carl's wife is pregnant and it's a week before Christmas. To solve his problems, Carl has to talk a man who hates Christmas into playing Santa.

The show is sure will warm the audiences' hearts and get them into the Christmas spirit, Crew said.

"They'll laugh. They'll cry. It's perfect for this Hallmark time of year," he said.

Crew said what's unique about this show is that it's a true story with Carl representing Crew's 30-year-old self.

"It really happened to me," he said. "I was in my 30s with a pregnant wife and toddler, and I moved my family to North Carolina to buy a little radio station. But it was broke, and that meant that we were broke," he said.

The story is one of the "funniest, most heart-warming stories you'll ever hear," Crew said. It's one that family and friends request him to tell year after year.

"It was only natural to finally put it on the stage," he said.

"Carl's Kris Kringle" will present its final two shows this weekend at 3 p.m. Dec. 15-16. Seating will be first come, first served when doors open at 2:30 p.m.

The Cape Island Theatre Company will collect donations to benefit the Cape May County Volunteers in Medicine, a free medical clinic serving low-income residents of Cape May County with no access to health insurance. VIM has served more than 4,000 people with more than 24,000 office visits, all at no charge to the patient.

It costs Volunteers in Medicine $495 to care for one patient for a year, Crew said. The theater company hopes to raise enough money to cover the cost of six patients in 2013.

He said $495 per patient "is amazingly cheap, when you consider all of the doctors' visits, etc," he said. "That's only possible because all of the doctors and nurses are volunteers."

Volunteers in Medicine Executive Director Jacqueline Meiluta, who went to the show on opening day, Dec. 1, said the theater company's rally of support is of great help.

"It's tough every year to raise money, and we rely on community groups such as the Cape Island Theatre Company to keep our doors open," Meiluta said. "It's a beautiful thing that they're doing."

Contact Elisa Lala:

609-463-6713

If you go

What:

Cape Island Theatre Company presents 'Carl's Kris Kringle,' written and produced by Ray Crew.

Where:

The Old Grange Restaurant by Tony Clark, 735 Seashore Road, Cape May (Cold Spring.)

When:

Doors open 2:30 p.m.; shows start at 3 p.m. Dec. 15-16

Cost:

Tickets are free, but seating is limited and available first-come, first-served. Donations will be collected to benefit Volunteers in Medicine, a free medical clinic serving low-income residents of Cape May County with no access to health insurance.

More info:

Call the Cape Island Theatre Company, 609-408-6595, or Historic Cold Spring Village, 609-408-6595.