The Hemingford Holiday Play drew a large crowd in both Hemingford and Alliance this past week. The double feature of A Christmas Peter Pan and The Polar Bear Prince both consisted of a cast of over 60 young people and adults. Both shows were a delight to watch.
Staring Hemingford Public School students from preschool age to high school was the first act A Christmas Peter Pan. Both shows featured a lot of new crew mentioned producer/director Tabi Bryner.
Tinker Bell (played by Natalie Mullen) summoned Wendy (played by Ainslee Woltman) to help save Peter Pan (played by Sofia Gomez) from the terrible Pirates of Captain Hook (played by Cash Keane).
Since Tinker Bell does not actually speak, Mullen performed the entire play with a kazoo in her mouth to imitate the sound of Tink’s “voice”.
“It was a tiny bit hard to not actually talk during the play,” Mullen said. “I had to keep that thing dangling so during rehearsals when I throw myself on the floor it jammed up in my mouth. But I bounced back.”
Instead of Wendy’s traditional brothers John and Michael, Tinker Bell and Wendy had the help of Wendy’s sisters Johnna and Michelle, played by Delilah Long and Lilli Cullan.
The group helps to save Peter Pan only to learn that pirates have captured and frozen Santa Claus. Without Santa the elves are left sad and lonely.
“It was so much fun but I was very nervous,” said Lanee Sorensen who played Pinkie, one of four Santa’s Elves.
When asked who her favorite character was she said, “Probably me” with a smile.
Her favorite part of the play was when Captain Hook and his band of pirates tried to make Pinkie and the other elves walk the plank.
The audience was taken on an adventure as Captain Hook and his pirates sung "On the Worst Day of Christmas" and a group of cute lost toys sang "Toys to the World for Everyone".
In the frozen tundra, Snow Fairies (played by Kamryn Haas, Adde Bryner and Kennedy Mahony) asked for help from audience help un-freeze Tinker Bell and then Santa Claus.
The Lost Toys gathered on Santa's sleigh and off he flew to deliver Christmas toys to children all over the world.
Next up was The Polar Bear Prince, where things heated up after a group of travelers spilled out of their bus and into a snow drift. The group was on their way to a winter wedding. The bride (Riki Hunter), groom (Roger Christianson), and the other passengers listened to a magical fairy tale told by narrators Libby Sorensen, Dakota Horstman and Izzy Tallon.
Hemingford High School Teacher Michelle Kluver played the part of one of the passengers and also a crone. She has been a part of the Holiday Play for four years. The Kluver’s announced that this would be their last school year teaching in Hemingford.
“It’s bitter sweet,” said Michelle. “I love doing it but it’s so much work that it’s also a relief when it’s over.”
During the play, Christiana (played by Grace Lilley-Gitch) goes on a quest to find the Polar Bear Prince after she discovers that he is actually a very handsome prince. She encounters a wild and crazy ensemble of characters, including not-quite-identical crone triplets, the Four Windbags, the tyrannical Troll Queen, Princess Carrot Toes, and her hopping-mad suitor Benny O’Hare.
It was a happy ending as Christiana married her handsome Polar Bear Prince (played by Tyan Hruby) and Princess Carrot Toes (played by Allison Meek) married her true love Benny O’Hare (played by Connor Butler).
“Everything went much smoother during the Alliance performance,” said Director Tabi Bryner. “We had all sort of excitement during the Hemingford show. Everyone did such a wonderful job.”