EASTERN HANCOCK — There’s nothing like having a hearty laugh or two while helping others get into the Christmas spirit. That’s the goal of the Eastern Hancock Drama Club’s performance of Little Town of Christmas.
The play, which has many different elements, is being put on by co-director’s Andy Sparks and Corey Yeaman along with 34 students from the Eastern Hancock school district. The show, which opens tonight (Thursday) has two more performances, 7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2 and a final show at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4.
“It has several little vignettes about a little town of Christmas,” Sparks said. “Some of the kids are elves, some of them are just kids looking in windows, plus we have Mrs. Claus and even an interview with a reindeer.”
The EH Drama Club is even putting on a short version of “A Christmas Carol,” with that and all the other small acts making for a fun and entertaining show.
“The connection of all the different things is that it all happens in this one little town,” Sparks said. “The whole thing is really funny with a lot of funny parts.”
Eastern High School junior Grace Graham gets to play three different roles — a Christmas caroler, a used car salesman pretending to be a reindeer and one of the three wise men in the Nativity scene.
“I like any kind of performance, but when I saw what we were going to do, this play, I thought it would be so much fun and I’m super excited,” Grace said. “We have a really good group of people and everyone has been doing a really good job.”
Grace says it’s been a blast learning about acting and trying to get the timing down for the play, which should generate lots of laughs.
“That part has been kind of hard for me because I will laugh at pretty much anything,” Grace said. “All of my lines are comedic relief so I have to catch myself and stop myself from laughing.”
Grace and her fellow cast-mates are really looking forward to helping to get the audience into the Christmas spirit.
“I’ve been in the Christmas Spirit since we started rehearsals at the beginning of the year, so if people will come and see us they’ll really get in the Christmas spirit and will probably be like, ‘Alright, let’s just have Christmas this week,’” Grace said.
This is the first big performance by the school’s drama club since COVID shut things down the past few years. Sparks says they normally like to put on a play in the fall around Christmas time and then some type of musical in the spring.
The club is open to students who are in middle school through high school, so that’s why they try to pick shows that incorporate a wide variety roles for the different-aged students taking part. Sparks noted this particular play is a great deal of fun for the cast and the audience.
“I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how funny and talented our kids are,” Sparks said. “We’ve had a lot of kids come out for the show who’ve never done this type of thing before, so that’s been a great opportunity for them to learn something new.”
Sparks graduated from Eastern Hancock High School and participated in the drama club when she was in school. That’s also where she met her husband, who has since passed away. Sparks said getting a chance to get back into helping out with shows as been a real blessing.
“My husband and I actually met through the drama club, so being back has been a little surreal,” Sparks said.
Sparks got back into the drama club in the fall of 2019, just helping out where she was needed. She has taken on more work as of late with the help of Yeaman as the co-directors and is glad she did.
“It’s really been fun to get back into the drama club working in the arts and helping kids,” she said. “Some of the kids have really stepped up and have such a great since of humor.”