Chesapeake Academy presents holiday program

Bob Cratchit’s family reluctantly toasts Scrooge’s health in “A Christmas Carol.” From left, Calista Nelson, Leona Li, Lawrence Veney, Leyton Dew and Sam Antonio raise a glass.

The holiday program at Chesapeake Academy celebrates the season with songs, skits and readings. Held on the last day of school before the Christmas holiday begins, the event is performed as a gift to the community by the student body.

“Christmas at the O.K. Corral” with music and narration by Teresa Jennings was presented by the Early Childhood and Lower School divisions, reported head of school Julianne T. Duvall.

“Christmas at the O.K. Corral” illustrates how even a grouchy guy, named Bubble Gum Bart, can get the Christmas spirit. The citizens of Snowy Gulch send Santa (played by Alex Fulmer) a text message and he responds by sending the Candy Cane Kid (Brooks Parker) to handle the “Sticky Situation.”

The Kid connects with Bart by listening  to “why he is so mean.” The citizens decide to invite Bart to their Christmas celebration which turns into a festive Western dance. Narrators Eliza Leo, Khloe Ridgell, Ingrid Carey, Ryann Kenner, Parker Brown, Baylen Miller and Izzy Dew led the audience through Christmas in the Old West with humor and clarity, said Duvall.

Quenton Harding did his civic duty as Mayor Manley while Mrs. Mayor (Valerie Edmonds) looked on. Betsy Bookworm (Khloe Hohensee), Scoop (Evan Hinton), Ironsides (Logan Brent) and Pennywise (Delaney Bowman) fretted visibly over the “sticky situation” while Quenton Harding, as Quickwhiskers, looked on. Eliza Leo got the whole cast hopping as the Square Dance Caller. Brynleigh Allen as Rhonda, The Reindeer, showed her gaits while ably assisting the Candy Cane Kid as they proved that taking the time to listen with a kind heart solves many problems.

Middle school students brought Charles Dickens’ three Christmas ghosts to life in “A Christmas Carol” with words and music by John Higgins. Narrators Namiyah Andrews, Trevor Haynie, Reagan Harding, Callie Souders, Auriannia Henderson-Jones, Thomas Emery, Maddie Ritter, Andrew Fulmer, Porter Pittman and Ty Makulowich guided the audience through this tale of transformation.

Scrooge was ably played by Claire Beitel, Spencer Cammarata, Landon Reihs and Joness LaSalle-Bryant. Gavin Simpson, Leyton Dew and Jackson Pyles brought Bob Cratchit to life, while Jules LaSalle-Bryant played Scrooge’s nephew.

Two gentlemen soliciting holiday charity were played by Harrison Hinton and Jackson Latell. The businessmen who marveled on Scrooge’s transformation were Celden Horsmith Miles Hollingsworth and Stewart Hollingsworth. And the thieves (Ryleigh Hornsmith, Tayloe Emery and Mason Walker) who pilfered Scrooge’s belongings while reflecting on his wasted life were believable.

Marley, draped in chains and regrets, mournfully came to life in Julius LaSalle-Bryant’s portrayal. And the iconic ghosts gave voice to Christmas past, present and future in Jarett Platsis, Layla Leo and Callum Stander. Calista Nelson was a believable Mrs. Cratchit, and Lawrence Veney and Leona Li gave solid performances as Peter and Martha Cratchit. The heart of Dickens’ holiday tale, young Tiny Tim shone with goodness and hope in Sam Antonio’s earnest portrayal.

Platsis, Ap Pollard and Lorry Manetz provided sound and tech support. Backdrop and slide show creators (Lorry Manetz, Robert Cunningham, Anna Carey, Nathan Meberg, Rya Struse, Martin Smith, Stewart Hollingsworth, Davis Bugg and Marcus Sanders) added dimension and detail to the production. No show can succeed without backstage help, and Hollingsworth, Cunningham and Kayla Wills made it all seem seamless. The program artwork was created by Ryann Kenner, grade three.

The arts team that brings the programs to life includes Barbara Hays, music; Sonja Smith, art; Robin Blake, performance and Kim Dynia, technology.

Thanks to Chesapeake Academy Parents and Patrons Association hospitality committee and the campus beautification committee for refreshments and decorations for this event, said Duvall.