The Santaland Diaries

November 24 — December 29, 2013
In the Ellyn Bye Studio

By David Sedaris
Adapted for the stage by Joe Mantello
Directed by Wendy Knox

Based on the outlandish and true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as Crumpet the Elf in Macy’s Santaland display, this hilarious cult classic features comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Portland favorite Darius Pierce returns this season as Crumpet! Reserve your tickets early—this show consistently sells out.

Performance times:
Tuesday - Sunday evenings at 7:30 p.m
Saturday and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
Special showings Thursday, Dec. 19 at 10 p.m. and Thursday, Dec. 26 at 2 p.m.

View our Season Calendar for a full list of performances and dates.

Read the cast and creative team bios.

View The Santaland Diaries playbill.

Learn more about accessibility options at PCS.

Note: Most productions at PCS are recommended for high school age and up; children under 6 are not permitted. The Santaland Diaries is recommended for ages 16+; mature content, language and sexuality.

Reviews and Features

Anne Adams | Oregon Arts Watch [Review 03 Dec 2012]

Review from the 2012 production of The Santaland Diaries starring Darius Pierce:

“David Sedaris’s “Santaland Diaries” (both the play and the essay) are surely best recognized as a cynic’s take on Christmas tradition. A thirtysomething man with dashed entertainment-industry dreams, Sedaris uses his day job as a Macy’s Christmas elf to launch a grand expansion both of his career and of the “there is no Santa Claus” revelation: Not only is there no Santa Claus, but there are no elves. Yes, Virginia, “elves” are actually seasonal day-laborers consigned to clean up child vomit, withstand humiliating training regimens, and perpetuate the lie for not one but several idiosyncratic fake Santas. Merry Humbug. Ho ho ho.

“Mercifully, though, there are a few more facets to this story: It’s also the tale of an intelligent person humbled by a brutal job market. It’s an unmasking of retail disingenuousness. It’s a kinky cosplay sexualization of erstwhile-presumed-asexual creatures (elves, Santa, customer servants). And—if you want it to be—it’s a reluctant admission that wonder, beauty and optimism repeatedly (if briefly) overturn our more jaded presumptions.

“With its multiplicity of narratives, the script becomes as flexible as taffy in the hands of its elfin elocutioner, Crumpet. And the star of this year’s production at Portland Center Stage, Darius Pierce (who’s spent prior seasons narrating another PCS holiday play, “A Christmas Story”), jingled in on the heels of two distinct predecessors.”

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Art and photography for The Santaland Diaries. View on Flickr »

Production blog

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

31 December 2013 & Posted by Alice Hodge

It’s that time of year.


Star of “The Santaland Diaries” on NBC’s Grimm!

19 December 2013 & Posted by Claudie Fisher

What’s it like to guest star in an episode of Grimm? We asked Darius Pierce, our Crumpet in The Santaland Diaries, to give us the inside scoop.


Catching up with David Sedaris

02 December 2013 & Posted by Claudie Fisher

It’s been a year since we last spent the holiday’s with David Sedaris and his wonderfully irreverent The Santaland Diaries. Here’s a look back on what this prolific humorist has been up to since our last visit.


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