The Pahranagat Valley Elementary School put on its annual Christmas play entitled “Once Upon a Housetop” on December 20. The high school multipurpose room was packed with family and residents sitting and watching students sing and dance under the direction of Char Bowman, their music teacher.
This year’s performance included the traditional pre-show performances. The preschool kids sang “Dear Santa,” followed by the kindergarten class singing “Jolly Old St. Nick,” and then the first graders sang “We Are Santa’s Elves.”
The play included chimney sweepers, Keystone cops, a Kwanzaa child, Santa, and a live nativity. The musical describes a story where the audience joins “a group of chimney sweeps as they dance across the rooftops of the city and discover all the different ways that families celebrate the different holidays. From the candles of Hanukkah to bright piñatas, from a baby born in a stable to the uplifting message of Kwanzaa … and don’t forget that big red fella in the chimney!”
Bowman explained, “I chose this play because it taught us about other cultures like Kwanzaa and Hanukkah and we still got to recognize Christianity. I loved the music!”
The elementary kids started learning the music and elements of the play starting the first week of October. Each class learned a part and then everything got put together the week before the program. The halls of the school rang with the music up until the play. The students learned their lines and choreography and went through a couple dress rehearsals with costumes.
When talking with Bowman about what she enjoys most about putting on this play every year, she responded, “I love hearing the children sing, and dancing is my favorite. So if we get to do both, I am very happy. I feel like it teaches a lot of life skills, and they get to try something like dancing. The kids learn to be patient, show respect while others perform, and they learn teamwork while helping each other to do their best.”
The students’ performance entertained the packed audience as they shared the many joys around the holidays. Brian Higbee, the principal, added, “The kids worked extremely hard and had a great performance that set the tone for the Christmas season for our valley. As always, Mrs. Bowman did an amazing job preparing the kids and developing their talents. We thank her for all of her efforts.”