Breakfast with Santa offers pancakes, crafts, fun

by W. Winston Skinner

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Breakfast with Santa offers pancakes and syrup, table after table of crafts, a funny play for youngsters — and a chance for one-on-one time with the big man himself.

Santa Claus sat on a sofa upholstered in candy cane fabric at the second annual Santa breakfast sponsored by the Northgate High School drama program. The event was held Dec. 14 at the Centre for Performing and Visual Arts on Lower Fayetteville Road.

About 70 people attended the festive holiday event.

The first Santa breakfast, held last year, took place at Northgate. “This is our second year producing breakfast with Santa. This is our first year taking it to the Centre,” said Cassandra Scott, Northgate’s drama teacher and sponsor of the Backstage Players.

The breakfast included a short play, “Santa and the Wicked Wazoo,” aimed at children. “We are trying to create winter productions that are family-oriented,” Scott said.

Scott said the goal is a play to which a teacher can bring a young child or a student can bring a younger sibling. Scott said the competition piece and musical are not designed “for holding the attention span of children.”

“Santa and the Wicked Wazoo” provided lots of moments for youngsters to shout, look around the theater, catch leprechaun dust — which looked a lot like Hershey’s Kisses — or otherwise participate. “Interactive theater allows these children to have one of their first experiences being an audience member in a safe environment,” Scott said. Children get an opportunity “to talk, dance, and ultimately be an active member of the production,” she added.

There were 12 students directly involved in the production — 11 actors and one technical person.

Members of the cast were Santa, Caleb Peters; Mrs. Claus, Brooke Mahon; Wicked Wazoo, Lily Smith; leprechaun, Katie Seagraves; Maureen, Hayley Hasberger; clown, Marguerite Bogucki; dancing doll, Rita Estrada; elves, Marie Swanson, Brooke Walker; trolls, Jenna Davenport, Rona Wolfe. Kalina Vatave manned the sound board.

A total of 31 students volunteered to help with crafts. Those students came from Northgate’s Beta Club, National Honor Society, Thespian Society and Drama Club. Crafts included Wicked Wazoo faces, Santa faces with beards, Christmas ornaments and coloring pages.

Manning the griddles to cook a steady flow of pancakes were “17 parents and one alum,” Scott said.

Funds raised from the Christmas event go toward Backstage Players productions. Currently, the drama students are at work on “Pinkalicious: The Musical,” which is set for performances on Jan. 25-26. “We will begin our spring musical production in early February with production dates in late April,” Scott said.

The play was presented three times during the morning, and youngsters and their families rotated through the dining, drama and craft facets of breakfast. Santa was in the lobby of the Centre — in the midst of the craft tables — hearing wishes and offering candy canes.

“With the excitement of the children, parents, grandparents, and volunteers involved, it was a success,” Scott said.



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