Of course, repetition isn't the only reason why the film has become a favorite. Davis said the film grew in the hearts of viewers because it harkens back to a simpler time.
"It's an idealized version of the past," he said.
Davis added that the play doesn't abandon what people love about the movie. It's still about the same characters, with some surprises.
"There are a few extra scenes," Davis said. "There's more development with Ralphie's friends Flick and Schwartz. There's also a minor relationship between Ralphie and one of the girls from his class."
He added that there is a bit more about the Red Rider BB Gun.
"That's a really cute and funny scene," Davis said.
Aside from comparisons to the film, directing "A Christmas Story" presented Davis with another tricky task: directing children. A lot of theater directors prefer not to work with children.
"The most challenging part for me has been being assertive," he said. "I don't mind telling someone what to do, but I'm working with a lot of kids. I love kids, and I don't like to be mean."
Davis said he was lucky to have some of the young actors' parents around to help.
The young director acknowledged there have been some stumbles along the way, but he felt confident everything would fall into place. It helps, he thought, that he doesn't have to go it alone. Davis said he relied on co-director Ruth Hyatt, as well as everything he could pick up from Professor Susan Marsh-Minnerly, who directed Davis in "Hairspray."
"I learned a lot by listening to her," he said. "She really knows how to give notes effectively at the end, when to stop people and when it's better to let someone run their course before you tell them what you need to."
Of course, some things he just had to learn on his own. Like how to deal with casting issues. For instance, he had to recast the part of the adult Ralph three times when actors kept dropping out.
"We had a high turnout, but low retention rate," Davis said.
Reach Bill Lynch at ly...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5195.