'Miracle on 34th Street' coming to Shaler Area stage
Shaler Area High School students will bring Santa Claus to life and kick off the holiday season when the curtain rises on “Miracle on 34th Street” this month.
The Christmas classic tells the story of Macy's store event director Doris Walker, played by senior Jess Dorow, who learns the true meaning of happiness and faith from Kris Kringle during his time as the store's Santa Claus, and her neighbor, Fred.
“It's a really cute story … and it's definitely a great holiday play,” Dorow said.
More than 45 students from the primary schools through high school are cast in this year's production, which features sixth-grader Isabella James as Doris' daughter, Susan, and a baton and flag twirling performance by students in the Sensations Marching Unit during the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade scene.
Student actor Dillon Brown, a sophomore, said working with the younger students has been rewarding and complement's the Christmas themes in Shaler Area's production of the play.
“It's really fun to perform with them on stage,” Brown said.
“It definitely adds to the spirit and true meaning of Christmas. It makes it seems more real. There is no way we could do this without children. It adds a lot more character.”
Students were cast before the end of last school year and have used the extra preparation time to further develop their characters.
“We're keeping true to the script as best we can, but we're making it our own — we're giving it that Shaler flair,” said senior Sarah Little, student director. “Our actors are bringing a different kind of personality to make it exciting and fun and fleshing out the characters ... and making the characters better than what they were maybe scripted as.”
Senior Bradley Gillespie, who plays Kris Kringle, said the students' take on the play can best be seen in the elves who surround his character in the store Santa Claus display.
“I do like my character, but one of my favorite parts is the elves,” Gillespie said. “They're really funny and incorporated jokes, juggling, tumbling, even though they're small(er) characters, they really show their part in this.”
To add to the holiday spirit, Shaler Area students will be collecting money for Make-A-Wish Foundation, which grants wishes to children with life-threatening medical conditions, in the lobby outside of the auditorium during each show.
“The theme is about believing and that's Make-A-Wish too,” said Kristen Susany, who is co-directing the play with Anne Loudon. “It's about the intangibles, too, so we decided to carry it out into the lobby.”
Bethany Hofstetter is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-772-6364 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.