‘A Christmas Visit’ In The Cloud
Story and photos by Tracy Maike Kehr
Editor's Note:Stage Door Players recently put on a Christmas show and we asked local artist, parent, and N3 contributor Tracy Maike Kehr to share her experience (along with her photos) of the event.
The doors opened early at 1147 E. Wilcox Avenue White Cloud Saturday night as The Stage Door Players presented A Christmas Visit. An eager crowd filled the seats early to make it a nearly sold out show. Proud parents and family members quickly took their places to watch the performance their children have spent week rehearsing for.
Ms. Julie Hale opened the show with...
...a dazzling rendition of “Mary Did You Know” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” much to the delight of a young girl who squealed, “Again, Again!!”
It’s heartwarming to see your community come out like this to support the youngest generations of White Cloud. These are the traditions that we so fondly look back on attending as the years pass. Our children are small for such a short season and to enjoy these precious moments when they are smiling and clean and so well behaved gives our cell phone cameras a big job to do!
Hans and Gretchen began the production “Christmas in the Forest” with smiling faces and festive costumes. Their story opened the way for the seasonal fairies who recited poetry flawlessly. Their colorful tutu’s were bouncing as they danced and held hands making a “Ring around the Rosy” with Hans and Gretchen in the center smiling with delight.
The children kept their places and on stage as Natalie Walenga, 17, from White Cloud, sat at the piano and tickled the ivories to Christmas jingles while the children sang. The audience joined in for a number of classic hits, such as “White Christmas” and “Winter Wonderland”. Don’t know the words? No problem, just hum loudly and smile as your neighbor does the same thing!
Soon Mrs. Claus was led into the room as Santa parked the sleigh. She walked down the aisle and waved, smiling and filling the theater with excitement. As she took her seat, center stage the Seasonal Fairies invited all the young audience members up to sit with them to hear the holiday favorite, “The Night Before Christmas”.
After the story, Jingle Bells were passed out to the kids and audience members alike. Some were bells on a stick to jingle and others were musical instruments like the Tambourine. One of the youngest ladies was holding a bell on a stick. She stopped the show and announced, “I NEED a real Instrument!” She appeared to be three or four and she got what she wanted. She must have had seven or more helping her find that Tambourine.
Watch out for her, she’s a future CEO of a Fortune 500.
The jingling of all those bells created an energetic happy cacophony of holiday songs. Santa must have found a spot to park because he just walked in! Much to the delight of the entire room, Santa took his seat next to the fireplace, slapped his knee and invited the first child up to tell him all their Christmas wishes.
Kacie Kailing, 7, a Spring Fairy, asked for a Hex bug. A “girl” Hex bug specifically. This was her first play and she is in 2nd grade at White Cloud Elementary. Her favorite song was singing Jingle Bells with the entire room and her favorite thing about being a part of the production was the time she spent with her friends backstage.
The Stage Door Players gave our diverse community a wonderful opportunity to be entertained, while giving our youngest generation a chance to show their confidence. Getting up in front of others is not a comfortable task for many. The chance to practice this outgoing behavior at such a young age will instill layers of character in each one of them.
The experience will build a solid foundation of acting chops for the kids to help in looking sorry when they were supposed to have the dishes done and their rooms clean so remember, you drove them and picked them up from rehearsal for them to acquire these skills.
This was indeed a golden opportunity for folks who can later pull out those cell phone pictures and show their pride in the talent of our youth.
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