Courtesy of Pixabay
Dropping temperatures and the smell of pumpkin spice are typically associated with the beginning of the holiday season. However, on the Central Campus of San Jacinto College, they signal the return of an annual holiday tradition, Santa’s Christmas Magic: The Musical.
The Department of Theatre and Film will kick off the semi-scripted show on Dec. 5, which promotional material describes as “a fun-filled family production with Santa, Clara, elves, and life-sized toys.”
The cast features students and some faculty, but it also includes children under the age of 14 from the surrounding community, performing in the elf chorus.
The show’s semi-improvisational style started in 2002 when the scripts for the scheduled production did not arrive on time, and the department had to improvise a show for the Christmas season. The following year, the theater was undergoing renovations, and the production moved to the Student Center ballroom where the group’s options were limited.
Jay Thomas, the show’s current co-director who at the time was an actor in the production, recalled “… the easiest thing for us to do was to do the same show again.” As a result, the production became wildly popular and continued its run for 18 years.
“The people wanted to see that Christmas show over and over again,” he added.
Artistic Director Dr. Jerry Ivins is also part of the production’s storied history. He said he hopes the long-running show fosters a love of theater in all children, whether they are part of the cast or attend as audience members.
“We have kids in this show from a young age, and they started in the elf chorus,” Ivins said, “… and now they’re 18 years old and they are playing a big major role.”
Performances of Santa’s Christmas Magic: The Musical are at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 5-7 and Dec. 12-14 in the Powell Arena Theatre (C12) on the Central Campus. Matinee performances are at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 8 and Dec. 15. Further information is available at (281) 476-1828.
Cesar Cardenas contributed to this report.