Drama students from St. Peter’s Catholic Secondary School in Barrie had a surprise reunion this past week, when the amazing cast and crew of this year’s musical production, Elf Junior, came together once again for a fun night filled with thrills, laughter, and of course, Christmas Cheer at the beginning of a hot summer.
The annual Festival of High School Musicals awards gala, recognizes the efforts of talented singers, dancers, and actors, but also gave participants true Christmas spirit once more, when they performed once again for everyone from the attending schools. The gala brought back many emotions, with Grade 11 student Shelly describing how sad she was that the musical was over, and how the cast and crew had become a kind of second family to her.
Many cast and crew were also excited to have another opportunity to share this cherished Christmas story. Cast member Alex who played the lead role of Buddy the Elf was happy to put his elf hat on one more time, saying “It was nice to relive the memories and get back into the role, it’s always been a pleasure of mine and I’m happy everyone enjoyed the performance, that’s always been my goal.” Anyone who witnessed the performance could tell the cast was having a blast, and was happy to reunite with their team members.
The festival was full of fabulous performances from every school, but the true highlight of the night was when the awards were handed out. St Peter’s received two awards of excellence for cast members Alex and Dani, topped with the award for technical excellence graciously received by team member Lexie. The night wasn’t just about which school had the best musical, it was also about encouraging each actor, singer, dancer, or tech crew member in the audience, to continue to pursue a career in the arts.
Steven Thomas, who was in charge of the event, has been in the stage business for over fifty years, and understands what it means to be part of a stage crew in the high school years. He emphasized the importance of the stage immensely, saying “The stage is definitely an important learning experience, it teaches poise, confidence, and discipline, while still being lots of fun. More importantly, the stage involves a personal connection between the actors and the audience, which improves the actor’s sense of involvement tremendously.”
Each cast and crew member took Steven’s words during the gala to heart, and while not everyone won an award, it was clear that everyone had an incredible time at the festival, with the cast of Elf Junior enjoying their final night before the curtain finally came to a close.