The San Jacinto College Central Campus Theatre marks its 22nd anniversary this year with their annual production of “Santa’s Christmas Magic: The Musical.”
The production is a tradition for many families, whether audience members or performers. For years, players young and old have returned to appear in the holiday favorite.
Dr. Jerry Ivins, artistic director for theatre and film, “didn’t know it would be continuing this long” when the play debuted in 2001.
“It’s a high-energy musical that includes acting, singing, and dancing,” Ivins said. “This will be our 28th year to present a Christmas show and 22nd year for ‘Santa’s Christmas Magic.’”
The play originated at San Jac when the script and music students were set to perform in 2001 were backordered.
“We didn’t have time to get rights to another play, and I told the students, ‘We may not be able to do a Christmas show,’” Ivins said. “They were visibly upset. I charged them to write their own play. It was our only option.”
The students returned the next day with a rough draft they titled “Santa vs. The Grinich.”
“The original script was a bit rough and only 10 pages long. It was a good start, but it needed finessing,” Ivins said.
Local playwright R.J. Snivi reworked the script, and “Santa’s Christmas Magic: The Musical” was born.
“It was a basic script, but audiences loved it. Each year, we tweak the content just a bit based on who is in the play, what their abilities are, and a bit of pop culture influence,” said Ivins.
The play is a fantasy about a sinister plot to steal Santa’s magic. Highlights of the show include toys that come alive to dance and sing, a children’s elf chorus, and a fast-paced chase. Young viewers can also visit Santa Claus at intermission.
The production boasts more than 85 performers, including 43 San Jac faculty and staff, and a children’s elf chorus.
“It always tickles me because we do Shakespeare, Molière, and Arthur Miller -- Pulitzer Prize winning shows. But the one the students are most excited about is the Christmas show,” said Ivins. “They fight harder for this show than anything else.”
This year performances are set to open Dec. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and will run until Dec. 17 with seven total performances including two Sunday matinees at the San Jacinto College Central Campus Powell Arena Theatre (C13).
Purchase and pick up your tickets at the box office by Wednesday, Dec. 6 to receive a $2 discount:
Purchase tickets at the Powell Arena box office. Beginning Monday, Dec. 4 the box office is open Monday through Friday, 1:30 to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 281-476-1828 or like the theatre and film department on Facebook at facebook.com/SJCC.Theatre.Film.