Twas’ the night before Christmas

Cody Nilsen, Staff Reporter

According to Professor Michael Smith, “Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” is a holiday play that the whole family can enjoy. Smith said it’s not your average play.

“Twas’ the Night Before Christmas” was written by Ken Ludwig, who has received  multiple Tony Awards, had six plays on Broadway and six plays in the Westland. This is the first play by Ken Ludwig that Smith has produced, but it likely won’t be the last.

The cast members and staff have been working all quarter long to produce this comedy, which follows the story of a spunky little girl with a can-do-attitude, an elf and a mouse. The trio will work together to save Christmas.

“This none stander Christmas show has an uplifting message,” Smith said. “It is geared towards the kids, but it’s just an all-around wholesome show.”

The fun and goofy humor makes the play entertaining for everyone and allows the cast and staff the creative ability to make the performance their own.

“The cast has an interesting dynamic with the Elf Calliope played by Kelsey McHugh, who is about 5-foot-2 or 5-foot-3 and the Mouse Amos played by Nicholas Main being 6-foot-1,” Smith said.

Dancing reindeer, sword fighting and some unorthodox musical numbers will all be featured in the show.

Santa will be played by Michael Lacker, senior theater major, who will be performing a Christmas rap.

“I don’t know that there are any challenges to playing the role, but more like standards I have to live up to. Everyone has this idea that Santa is the pristine, holly, jolly soul, but he is still a human being who has problems to worry about,” Lacker said. “ I just want to make sure I give everyone the Santa they expect, but also show everyone who he can be.”

Lacker is hoping the audience is as amped up as he is to portray this new Santa.

“I’m kind of excited to be a rapping Santa. I think Santa is still hip to the trends, even if he is in the North Pole,” Lacker said.

What makes this musical number great, according to Smith, is that it was composed by Central graduate Brennan Weiding.

By collaborating with experienced Central staff, the play produces quality sound and music while teaching skills to students. Students also get hands-on practice because they create the props.

Ashley Baker, the costume designer, got to create her own interpretation of the characters.

“I am partial to the elf costume,” Baker said. “It has the pointy ears, and the costume itself is just really bright with the color. I’d compare it to Lord of the Rings.”

The students who are performing in this play have had the entire quarter to coordinate the show.

Smith said that most productions don’t have as much time to prepare and that a number of new students are still learning all that goes into putting on a production.

The play will be performed on campus in Milo Smith Tower Theatre, which is connected to McConnell Hall.