Yes, Vivian says, there is "Life After Christmas."

Yes, Vivian says, there is "Life After Christmas."

Vivian is Vivian Lermond, a Northwest Side resident and the author of numerous one-act plays. She's come up with eight of them under a single holiday theme to be performed during a special Dessert Theatre fundraising event at the Northland-area church led by a friend of hers.

In fact, the Rev. Phyllis A. Heffner of St. Andrew Presbyterian Church plays a part in one of the plays included in "Life After Christmas."

"I'm starring in a role because one of the characters is from New York," Heffner said.

She was recently in her native New Jersey, so she's brushed up on the accent, she said.

Admission to the Dessert Theatre, which will get under way at 3 p.m. Dec. 4, will be $10.

The church is located at 1450 E. Dublin-Granville Road.

Lermond was born in Niagara Falls and grew up on the East Coast, but moved to Cleveland when her father, an executive with New York Central Railroad, was transferred there during the company's merger with another line. She attended Ursuline College for her undergraduate degree in English, with a minor in speech and drama, and went on to John Carroll University for a master's degree.

The economy was tight when she completed her education, so Lermond said her first job was as a legislative intern with the Ohio House of Representatives. While there, she started a speechwriting service for the members and stayed on doing that after her internship ended.

Lermond eventually began teaching public speaking and group dynamics at Columbus State Community College.

Although she took acting lessons as a child ("I guess my mother thought I was a young drama queen at 8"), Lermond put her love of performing on the back burner after moving to Columbus.

Then one day in 1997, Lermond decided she wanted to write plays. Her first work, running between 30 and 35 minutes, was accepted by an old regional theater company in Roanoke, Virginia, and she's been producing short works ever since.

"I really like the short form," Lermond said. "You have to write tight and tell the story in five or 10 minutes. You have to have all the same rising action, the conflicts."

The anthology of eight works in "Life After Christmas" developed from a central theme.

"This is the fun and foibles of family around the holidays and beyond," she said. "Sometimes it can be poignant. We all face that full-frontal reality that we have some relatives who are nuts."

Lermond also wanted to come up with an alternative to typical holiday entertainment fare.

"It's like watching reruns of all those Hallmark specials," she said. "There's not a lot of holiday entertainment or holiday material for adults. My sense is the holidays should be fun for adults. It's not all about kids."

"I am really excited about it," Heffner said. "I love the prospect of eight short plays because the way Vivian concocts them they have a beginning, a middle, a high point and an end. I think it's going to be a delightful evening."

"Her church members are excited about it because they can all bake up a storm, I guess," Lermond said.

kparks@thisweeknews.com

@KevinParksTW1