EDMONTON — Katelyn Bailey is one of several high school seniors who are part of the cast for an upcoming production of "Elf: The Musical Jr."
Metcalfe County Schools' 21st Century Learning Program is presenting the musical.
The play is about Buddy Hobbs, a young boy who is raised by Santa's elves at the North Pole, and is based on the 2003 film starring Will Ferrell.
The 21st Century Learning Program's version is a little different from the film.
“It's a very short and compacted version, but it does have a lot of the same scenes as it does in the normal musical,” Bailey said.
Bailey wanted to be in the production because she says she has had a passion for theater since she was a little girl.
“I have a very dramatic character, as most little girls do, so it just fit into my aura of things,” she said.
Bailey plays the role of Emily Hobbs, who is the stepmother of Buddy Hobbs.
“She's a very loving and caring mother. She always puts her kids' needs first and she is kind of neglected by her husband, Walter Hobbs,” Bailey said.
Playing the role of Walter Hobbs is senior Tyler Bray, who described his character as being “not a very nice guy.”
“He's very caught up in work. He doesn't spend much time with his family. He's one of those that if you told him 'Merry Christmas,' he'd probably say, 'Bah, Humbug,'” Bray said.
Bray has also been active in drama for many years and said he enjoys acting.
“I love the arts,” he said. “Of course I'm in band also. I really love this.”
Emily Coffey, director of the play, said she chose “Elf: The Musical Jr.,” for a couple of reasons.
One reason is because so many of the students who wanted to be in the production are also in marching band, which takes up a lot of their time.
“We opted to do the junior version because of that,” she said.
She also chose “Elf: The Musical Jr.” because she knew of a student who would be perfect for the role of Buddy Hobbs. That student is senior Cody Hart.
“I picked the play because of him. He is like Buddy the Elf. He's that super fun, energetic guy. He is perfect for the part,” she said. “He is one of the main reasons I chose this play because you have to kind of pick plays that go with the people you have, especially with a high school play because you only have an X amount of kids who are going to be willing to do the work.”
Putting on such a production does require a lot of work, which means long rehearsals.
The cast rehearsed the play for two hours Monday, four hours on Tuesday and will do three hours on Friday and seven hours on Saturday.
The production requires the cast to sing and dance in several scenes and Hart does perform several songs in the play.
He is not new to rehearsals. He has been involved in drama his entire high school career.
“This is my senior year and I wanted to finish it out,” he said.
He describes Buddy Hobbs as being “very childish,” but said his character matures somewhat near the end of the play.
Some of Hart's favorite scenes in the play are those where Buddy interacts with his father. The funniest scene of the play is the opening one featuring Santa's elves, he said.
Senior Valerie Gibson portrays one of Santa's elves and is part of the opening scene of the play.
“I think the first scene with all of the elves is hilarious,” she said.
Like Hart, Gibson has been involved in drama all four years of high school.
“I've just kind of done this for a long time and it's just kind of become part of my life,” she said.
The play opens at 7 p.m. on Dec. 12 and will be presented again on Dec. 13 also at 7 p.m. A matinee performance will be available at 3 p.m. on Dec. 13. All performances are free and will be in Metcalfe County Middle School's auditorium.
The Metcalfe County School System offers the 21st Century Learning Program in all three of its schools.
“We are so happy to have it,” Coffey said. “It's a great after school program.”