“I Believe, I believe, I believe.” These were the words spoken by little Susan Walker (played by Samantha Moreno ‘14) and mouthed by the audience members who watched in wonder and awe. On December 3rd and 4th, The Alvernian Drama Society and the Art Department presented Miracle on 34th Street. In this well-known story, Kris Kringle (played by Paul Battisti ‘11) is charged with lunacy, though eventually true Christmas spirit fills those who once didn’t believe in him.
It all started with careful planning by Mrs. Schaefer-Heuer, Ms. Mejia, and Ms. Mejia’s theater production and design class. The cast and crew generously purchased and donated props to make the set come alive with a real “Christmas” feel. Much hard work was also done by two of the parents of the cast and crew, Mr. Sanchez and Mr. McCullough, who helped build the set, improve the lighting, and bring special effects to the stage.
Looking to the heart of the play, the cast was made up of a unique and diverse group of people who complimentedeach other very nicely. They made sure each line and action that took place was done in such a way that it made the story not only believable, but one where there was even some audience participation. The energy in each scene seemed to jump off the stage and all of the cast members molded themselves to fit their characters to form robust and unique personalities within their respective roles. For example, Paul Battisti (Kris Kringle) had to work long and hard to transform himself into the holly jolly St. Nick. When asked what the experience was like for him to portray a character that is the polar opposite of a high school senior, he said, “I’m like an old man at heart. I mean there were a lot of lines, but I’ve been in plays here before and know what it’s like to have a lot of lines. I felt like I was made to play this part; it came quite naturally to me to be Santa and I loved every minute of it. It was an extremely fun and fulfilling experience and I enjoyed being on the stage performing for my friends and family”.
Many long and tiring hours of rehearsal and preparation are what led to the fantastic final result. Each day, myself and the other assistant directors (Cristina Sanchez ‘11 and Emily Issac ‘11), our stage manager (Angelina Castro ‘12) and Ms. Mejia would give notes on how to improve our performance. Sometimes a rehearsal was tough to get through, but the cast and crew together turned this show from just a script into a wondrous story that jumped from the script onto the stage.
In the end, we were like a second family. We all hope that we will be able to work with each other on future productions. Once again, congratulations to the cast, crew, Art Department (Mrs. Schaefer, Ms. Mejia, Ms. Anderson, Mr. Antinori, Ms. Gueli, and Mr. Smith), Mr. Ganci, and the Alvernian Drama Society, for a performance that was truly amazing and well rehearsed, right down to the last sleigh bell.