By Paul Thomas
Alaska Pioneer Press Correspondent
TRAPPER CREEK — The annual Christmas Program produced Dec. 16 by Trapper Creek’s elementary school focused on military families and how they might celebrate the season with a parent deployed overseas.
Music began the program when Debbie Filter’s guitar class, Grades 3 through 6, opened the show with a mix of traditional and holiday songs. Michael Dean followed the guitar players with his interpretation of Jingle Bells on xylophone. Then came the play which opened with the students and faculty singing the title song, All American Christmas.
The story followed the holiday activities of a regular family whose dad is in the military and deployed overseas.
Act one included a festive rendition of Over the River by the carolers, which served as a sendoff to Grandma’s home for the holidays. Act Two had the family arriving at Grandma’s condo in town. Since Dad was away at the war, the family decided to celebrate Christmas with other service folks at the USO. Before leaving Grandma’s, the carolers reappeared with an energetic interpretation of “Jingle Bells.”
Act Three opened at the USO where the soldiers were all wishing to be home for Christmas before breaking into their well choreographed version of “Roots.” Again the carolers livened up the room with “Here Comes Santa Claus.” The family arrived and decorated the room just before Santa arrived to a “Yankee Doodle Santa,” after which he gave presents to soldiers and family members. The carolers came back on stage where the entire cast sang “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” to the audience.
The play was directed by Virginia Smith who co-wrote it with the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th Graders.
Cast members included Venus “Ona” Crabtree as Grandmother, Danielle Gossett as Mother and Brandon Watkins as Santa. The family children were played by Kaitlin Hughes, Davin Potter, Sophia Reyes and Alex Gossett. The soldiers were portrayed by Briana Cebula, Samantha Smeltzer, Cole Cole, Rollie Stankowitz, Melanie Thomas and Sherry Thorn. The carolers included Aleah Cole, Ally Dean, John Drako IV, Mike Dean, Anthony Gossett, Joe Lester, Darian Mathison, Bethany Robbins, Leira Sherman, Luther Stankowitz and Tabitha Watkins.
The evening ended with an appearance by the real Santa Claus, who gave all the good little boys and girls one final opportunity to submit their Christmas wish lists.