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Two actors play all 20 roles in "A Tuna Christmas"

Paul Pierce and Ron Anderson, the stars of "A Tuna Christmas," say the real action is backstage.

That's where the two actors make very quick costume changes, often going from male characters to female ones and back.

Since 2001, Pierce and Anderson have played the 20 characters who inhabit the third smallest town in Texas. It's the sixth time, having skipped the 2003-04 season.

Just before going on stage as Tuna radio personalities Thurston Wheelis and Arles Struvie, both men put on basic men's stage makeup. Then they pull on panty-hose, bike shorts and a "wife-beater" undershirt.

Then the fun begins. Each actor has a dresser backstage who help them get into the correct costume at the right time.

"What makes this thing difficult is we have to memorize blocking, just as if we were on stage," said Anderson's dresser, Betsy Flournoy, 16, a Brookstone School junior.

Kaity Baker, 16, a sophomore at Harris County High School, is Pierce's dresser.

"A Tuna Christmas" can be seen at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; also, 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13-15, Dec. 19-22 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16 in Foley Hall, Springer Opera House, 1016 First Ave.

Tickets are $8-$25.

Call 706-327-3688