University of Central Missouri: UCM Theatre and Dance Presents ‘Elf: The Musical’; ASL Interpreter Nov. 18 and Toy Drive through Run of Show

An entertaining warm-up for the holidays, the University of Central Missouri Theatre and Dance presents “Elf: The Musical,” with performances beginning Nov. 12.

Based on the popular Christmas movie of the same name, the musical follows the story of Buddy the Elf as he discovers what it means to be human. The play performs at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 12, 13, and Nov. 18, 19 and 20. An ASL interpreter will be be provided on the 18th.

During the play, a young orphan named Buddy mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. This modern-day holiday classic is sure to make everyone embrace their inner elf.

When asked about the musical, Director and Choreographer Ashley Miller-Scully said that “’Elf: The Musical’ is a fun, joyful Christmas musical that is great for the whole family. If you love the movie ‘Elf,’ you’ll love this musical and it will most definitely put you in the holiday spirit!”

The lead role of Buddy the Elf is played by Jace Nielsen, a junior Theatre Performance major at UCM. About the role, Jace said, “Buddy the Elf is such a high energy and fun character to embody, which makes ‘Elf: the Musical’ an immensely exciting show to be a part of. If you’re looking for some over-the-top fun and laughs, and/or you’re ready to get into the Christmas spirit, come see UCM’s production of ‘Elf: The Musical!’”

UCM Theatre and Dance will also be holding a toy drive for the duration of the run of the show. Community members are encouraged to bring new or used toys to the theater when they come for the show, or they may just drop them off in Martin 113 on campus between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The toys will be donated to Toys for Tots.

In addition to Jace Nielsen in the role of Buddy, the cast includes: Charlotte Sipple as Jovie, Hayden Etter as Walter Hobbs, Alyce Wilson as Emily Hobbs, Miranda Muenz as Michael Hobbs, Kierra Kellum as Deb, Indeiah Nelson Bolen as Manager, Thomas Clark as Mr. Greenway, Holden Childress as Santa Claus, Logan Mathes as Matthews/Security Guard, Katie Marshall as Mrs. Claus, and Zacharia Bowen as Chadwick. The Security Guard. Ensemble cast includes Rachel Curry, Katie Kaminski, Eleanor Panico, TiJhana Hines, Jenna Speer, Alexander Scharfenberg, Jennifer White, Mekdelawit Keller, Savannah Riley, Emily Turner, Shanna Sinow, and Kayla Addison. The Youth Ensemble includes Margaret Ridenhour, Hayden Starbuck, Kinley Stinson, and Penelope Welker. Understudies include Logan Mathes for Buddy and Jenna Speer for Jovie.

The crew includes: Director/Choreographer Ashley Miller-Scully, Stage Manager Ryann Hill, Scenic Designer Joseph Burkard, Lighting Designer Benjamin Gonzales, Costume Designer Jennifer Van Buskirk, Sound Designer Srikanth Sriramula, Hair Designer Hollie Neumann, Makeup Designer Molly Ross, Props Master Wesley Freeman, Technical Director Seth Holt, Assistant Director Hayden Etter, Assistant Choreographer Rachel Curry, Assistant Stage Manager Mallory Griffin, Assistant Music Director Morgan Gibson, Deck Chief Luke Habjan, Assistant Scenic Designer Brittany Brandt, Assistant Lighting Designers Madison Skiljan and Seth Sneary, Assistant Costume Designer Allison Winsby, Assistant Props Master Sapphire Engel, Assistant Scenic Charge Artists Allie Hoelscher and Emily Turner, Costume Shop Staff Maryn Edwards, Allison Winsby, Kierra Kellum, Cydni Stafford, Hollie Neumann, Wardrobe Head Allison Winsby, Makeup Crew Makhi Thurman, Lindsey Kirkley, Master Electrician Seth Sneary, Deck Chief Luke Habjan, Run Crew Tallie Williams, Wesley Freeman, Nicholas Strathman, Steven Crockett, Scene Shop Staff THEA 1600 Stagecraft students, Brittany Brandt, Rachel Curry, Luke Habjan, Seth Holt, Mekdelawit Keller and Kelsi Richardson, Sound Board Operator Cal Hoffman, Srikanth Sriramula, Light Board Operator Lexi Winterbower, Co-House Managers Stephanie Heathcock and Anna Braman, Box Office Manager Alexis Kratz, Publicity and Marketing Director Dr. Aaron Scully, Publicity and Marketing Team THEA 4310 Theatre Management Class, Graduate Shop Assistant Srikanth Sriramula, Office Professionals Anna Braman and Madison Skiljan.

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