Kids shine in ‘Rudolph’

Local children portraying penguins and elves dance during last week’s STARS production of “Rudolph Saves Christmas.” The event was held Saturday, Dec. 4, at Davis Middle School in Evanston. (HERALD PHOTO/Kayne Pyatt)

EVANSTON — On Saturday, Dec. 4, the Evanston STARS delighted a large audience with their musical production of a famous Christmas story, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”  Performing in a two-act play written by Laurel Higdon titled “Rudolph Saves Christmas” the young dancers, acrobats and singers provided a joyous and fun-filled evening for those attending the two-hour show.

Key organizer and instructor Caddie Welling welcomed the audience and thanked contributors.

“First, I want to thank Pastor Robert Douglas and the Aspen Church Board for letting us use their facility for practice,” Welling said. “We are a nonprofit organization, and without the help of all of the parents and many others who contribute in so many ways, we wouldn’t be able to put on these productions.”

The children, ranging in age from pre-schoolers to middle schoolers, sang, danced and told the story of how Rudolph and an elf named Zandi were teased and bullied and felt like misfits, so they ran away from Santa’s workshop. Shortly after, on Christmas Eve, a huge snowstorm blackened the whole world and the elves were afraid that Santa couldn’t deliver presents.

Then they were sorry for how they had treated Rudolph and Zandi and looked for them. The penguins and the reindeer were thrilled when Rudolph and Zandi returned. All was forgiven, and Santa asked Rudolph to lead his sleigh and shine his nose to light the sky. Everyone celebrated now that Santa could deliver presents.

Throughout the six scenes, the children showcased their talents. Even the smallest of the children were active participants to the delight of the audience. The costumes for Santa and Mrs. Claus, Rudolph, the other reindeer, penguins and elves were wonderful and let the audience know immediately who they were portraying. 

Welling leads the STARS organization with the help of instructors Laurel Higdon, Ashli Johnson, Samantha Moon, Ariel Lowry, Jenni Hogman, Monique McInnis, Diana Davis and Katie Butler.  Instruction in a variety of artistic skills includes ballet, tap dancing, acrobatics, singing, hip-hop, tumbling, musical theatre and cheer.

Butler and Bethany Shidler were costume directors and were assisted by Brittany Carrizales, Abby Butler, Kessa Shidler and Ashli Johnson. Set director was Shandra Johnson with assistants Julie Young, Samantha Moon, Diva Bermudez, Cheyenne Wright, RaeAnn Pace, Braxton Young, Cambree Young and Billie Magana. Posters were designed by RoShawn Jones and Diva Bermudez was in charge of marketing and advertising. Roses and candy bouquets were prepared by Cheyenne Wright, Billie Magana, April Walker and Kara Willis. Paul Welling provides the technical support for all productions and helps construct and deconstruct the sets.

“A special thank you to Uinta County School District No. 1, the DMS custodial staff, and Chris Brown and the DMS music staff,” Welling said. “We give a big thanks to the families of the performers and to the performers themselves, who make this work a delight.”

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