AP NEWS

A Christmas twist: San Benito High School’s varsity theater performs seasonal plays

December 15, 2017 GMT

SAN BENITO — Tiny little elves are going on strike and the end of the world depends on finding the perfect present.

San Benito High School’s varsity theater is offering a unique take on the typical Christmas play.

The theater program will be offering two different plays, one tonight and another on Tuesday, in its black box theater.

“Billy Shakespeare’s Christmas Extravaganza and Traveling Freak Show” is an anthology play that will offer four different acts all centering around the common theme of Christmas.

“It’s a crazy name for a crazy play that has a bunch of crazy acts in it,” theater teacher Derek Mcelyea said.

Mcelyea said his program has been receiving a lot of support from the administration.

“I started with one class and I realized there was so much interest with what we’re doing here that I thought if I could try to double up the program, and I did and it worked,” Mcelyea said.

The only drawback of doubling the program is set design.

Because the program operates out of a black box theater, a simple square room with walls, Mcelyea has to make sure both plays can work with a similar set design.

Christmas trees are drawn in chalk on the black wall behind the main stage with paper snowflakes dangling down from the ceiling.

The simplicity of the set and props keeps the focus on the actors and the story.

Junior Christopher Enriquez plays one of the many Santas in the show.

Enriquez is considered a rookie with only one play under his belt.

“The hardest thing is to stay in character and not laugh when things get funny,” Enriquez said.

Drama club president Cordylia Ochoa plays an elf during the first act where the elves go on strike under a demanding Santa.

“It’s really twisted,” Ochoa said. “It’s not something you’ve ever seen for Christmas, I’m sure.”

The theater program will perform “Billy Shakespeare’s Christmas Extravaganza and Traveling Freak Show” tonight and “A Christmas Scarol” on Tuesday.