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chute your eye outWhen it comes to handling precious cargo, Santa knows where to go. The crew at Stevenson Company’s workshop came up with a handy slide for the North Pole as featured in a production of “A Christmas Story the Musical” at Topeka Civic Theatre. In the classic production, grumpy Santa kicks little Ralphie down the slide at Higbee’s department store. The directors at America’s longest running dinner theater called on the Spiral Chute experts to come up with a slide design.

“We knew we had an ideal cast of youth performers for our production. Now we need the perfect slide to accommodate them all!” said Shannon Reilly, artistic director.

“We were limited on space to move the set back and forth during scene changes,” said Sara Myer, resident designer at the theater. “The tight footprint afforded by the Spiral Chute was the ideal fit for us.” Stevenson Company specializes in conveying product -- usually fragile food or pharmaceuticals --using gentle letdowns like the one pictured here. In this case, they happened to have one in stock used for testing items such as snacks, nuts, and frozen product. After demonstrating with a large teddy bear and approximating various sizes of the actors, the Spiral Chute was modified to meet Myer’s specifications. “When it arrived on site, we immediately rolled it onto the stage so I could try it out, she said. “Velvet soft landing, for sure.”

"I was certain Stevenson Company would never let us down,” Reilly said, “at least not unless it was a sweet, gentle spin to the ground on this fabulous slide!”

Here's a short video of the process of making Santa's slide: