Dartmouth High Theatre Company to present winter double-feature

By Douglas McCulloch | Nov 26, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Nathan Vieira as Santa Claus, Miguel Pereira as Buddy, and Riley Ustinovich as Jovie.

The story of Buddy the elf is set to come to life at Dartmouth High School during the Theatre Company’s production of Elf, Jr.

Inspired by the 2003 holiday classic Elf, the play follows the life of Buddy, an ordinary human who ends up at the North Pole. The play takes place during Buddy’s childhood growing up with Christmas elves and Santa Claus, and eventually discovering his own identity.

The play features every major character from the film, from Buddy’s real workaholic father Walter Hobbs to his real brother Michael.

Taking on the role of the play’s protagonist, Buddy the elf, is is freshman Miguel Pereira. Although brand new to the high school theater scene, he has four years of acting experience under his belt from middle school and programs in Swansea.

Despite his experience, playing a positive and upbeat character like Buddy the Elf is new, however.

“I have to be very happy all the time,” Pereira said. “It was a challenge to get used to at first.”

Nathan Vieira plays the man in the big red suit, but he’s not your typical bright and cheerful Santa Claus.

“He’s actually the least hopeful during Christmas,” Vieira said. “He’s not as joyful as you’d think Santa would be.”

Vieira described his role as playing a happy-acting person who is actually deeply sad on the inside.

“It’s a very complicated change of emotions,” Vieira said.

Junior Kempton Campbell will take on the role of Buddy’s real workaholic father, Walter Hobbs. He begins the play as a grumpy and Christmas-apathetic character, but slowly warms up to the idea after Buddy enters his life.

“I think it’s real good character development,” Campbell said. “I really appreciate that chang.”

Director Denis Lawrence Jr. said the Dartmouth High Theatre Company was looking for a winter production to include younger actors and actresses from the middle and elementary level in, and when he found Elf Jr. was available,

“Everyone knows the story of Buddy the elf,” Lawrence said. “It’s a perfect opportunity to incorporate all three of our age groups.”

To form a feature-length production, each performance will also include the one-act play Last Stop Till Christmas, which takes place at a bus stop as a large ensemble cast discovers the true meaning of Christmas while waiting for the bus. Julia Olimpio plays the role of Angela.

“She really helps [the other characters] out by showing them what Christmas spirit is all about,” she said.

Performances are scheduled for December 1 and 2 at 7 p.m. at Dartmouth High School. A matinee performance will also be offered at 1 p.m. on December 2. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors. A family four pack is also available for $40. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by calling (508) 971-2258.

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