Knoxville Children’s Theatre, in partnership with The Ritchie Company, will present “Elf: The Musical Jr.” based on the Broadway musical with music and lyrics by Matthew Sklar and Chad Beguelin. The play will be performed December 1 – 17, Thursdays and Fridays at 7 PM; Saturdays at 1 PM and 5 PM; Sundays at 3 PM. Also, a special 7 PM performance will be held on Sunday, December 10.
This hilarious musical play is based on the 2003 comedy film. William “Buddy” Hobbs, a young orphan child, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Years later, Buddy finds out that he’s an ordinary human being and heads off to New York City in search of his father, Walter Hobbs. But Walter, like many New Yorkers, doesn’t believe in Santa Claus. Neither does Buddy’s brother Michael! Buddy is determined to win over his birth family and help New York City remember the true meaning of Christmas.
The play is performed by 27 talented young actors, from ages 8 to 17. Simeon Thress plays Buddy, and Keegan Stump plays Walter. Jacob Sousley plays Santa, and Logan Bell plays Michael Hobbs.
Eight actors are making their KCT debuts: Hannah Beth Bibee, Austin Bishop, Jake Borden, Abby Cowan, Sarah Grace Faught, Dale Gross, Miley Jenkins, and Jackson Lelle.
The rest of the cast includes KCT veterans: Natalia Adams, Campbell Ayres, Hallie Boring, Evie Braude, Reece Brown, Ella Clayton, Nico Ellerbusch, Abby Ann Ramsey, Tori Randall, Eva Rogers, Noah Seaman, Lily Segars, Laura Snyder, Averi Waller, and Olivia Wilson.
KCT Student Director Wheeler Moon directs the production. The musical director is Paul Jones. West High student Amy van der Merwe is the stage manager. The show’s designers are all high-and middle-school students: Wheeler Moon (scenery), Max Harper (lighting), and Bethany Moon (costuming). Derrick Washington, Jr., KCT’s current directing intern, is the Assistant Director. KCT is East Tennessee’s leading producer of plays for children and families.
The show is presented in partnership with The Ritchie Company and is sponsored by The Comcast Foundation, Clayton Family Foundation, Home Federal Bank, the City of Knoxville, and Lusidmedia. Assistance was also provided by Bandit Lites and Prestige Cleaners. The play is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International.