This is Carolina: Children’s play carries on to spread Christmas cheer

This is Carolina: Behind the scenes of 'Elf Jr.' in Conway

CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - The children’s Christmas performance of “Elf Jr.” at Conway’s Theatre of the Republic carried on despite originally being canceled.

It was a way to spread Christmas cheer to residents and other nearby communities, and the 30 children in the play were all smiles for it. In homemade costumes, the show went on.

“I like being an elf because it’s fun. Because I get to wear suspenders and things that I like to wear,” one elf actress, Jocelyn, told WMBF News before her performance.

“They’re all so excited because they’ve been so bored. I mean, they’ve been cooped up in their houses for eight months now?” said director Emily Martel.

Martel said the play was originally slated for two weeks of performances, but due to a rise in COVID-19 cases, it was recently cut to just one week.

The kids still made the most of it.

The 75-minute production was filled with spunk, smiles and glitter. COVID restrictions forced the theater to only sell tickets for less than half the house. Seats required to be emptied were marked with green ribbon.

Martel explained the actors got ready at home for performances, wore clear masks and social distanced as much as possible. Additionally, concessions were closed, but parents could only greet their actors outside after the play and children were required to leave the theatre immediately after each performance.

Despite it all, Martel said it was a success.

“This place is a family. And it always has been a family for me. So, like, not having it for the eight months was a big deal. So being back here is just so therapeutic right now. This is a very special place for everybody,” she said with a smile.

Martel added that she’s an actress herself, and said she’s excited for all theatre productions to return to normal.

To learn more about Conway’s Theatre of the Republic and to keep up with its future schedule, click here.

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