NEPA Scene Staff

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore celebrates holidays with 3 events in December, including ‘Elf Jr.’

Act Out Theatre in Dunmore celebrates holidays with 3 events in December, including ‘Elf Jr.’
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From a press release:

Act Out Theatre Group is celebrating the holidays with three festive events in Dunmore this December: “Elf Jr.,” the theatre’s annual Holiday Revue, and a free family fun night.

Director Kalen Churcher of Plymouth leads the cast of “Elf Jr.”

“’Elf Jr.’ has become a modern-day classic that combines a lot of humor with the true meaning of the holiday season,” Churcher said. “It’s something the entire family can enjoy.”

Running Friday, Dec. 7 through Sunday, Dec. 9, “Elf Jr.” is a condensed version of the full-length musical based off New Line Cinema’s 2003 Christmas movie “Elf” starring Will Ferrell. Buddy, Santa’s clumsiest and largest elf, is portrayed by Max Snyder of Moscow in this production.

When Buddy finds out that he is human, he makes the trek to New York to find his human father, Walter Hobbs, played by Caelan Baden of Taylor. Through his journey, Buddy meets the jaded Jovie (Sarah Pugliese of Wilkes-Barre Township) and learns he has a brother, Michael, played by Mason Matthews of Wilkes-Barre. Matthews also plays Charlie, the head elf.

High-energy musical numbers and comical misunderstandings make this a show that no one will want to miss.

The cast, which includes two sets of siblings, also features Santa Claus (Will Block of Bear Creek), Emily Hobbs (Emily Carey, Dunmore), Deb (Samantha Greenfield, Old Forge), Charlotte Denon (Ava Kulenich, Clarks Summit), Ms. Greenway (Allie Katz, Clarks Summit), Sam (Dylan Ofner, Scranton), Matthews (Milana Snyder, Moscow), Chadwick (Lorcan Baden, Taylor), Darlene (Ava Wheeler, Taylor), and Emma (Julia Cirba, Scranton).

Pugliese is having fun playing Jovie.

“I get to go through a lot of emotions in the show that usually aren’t my personality. Also, I’ve always wanted to play Jovie,” Pugliese said. “[The best part is] probably being grouchy a lot because I’m usually happy all the time.”

​From left, Mason Matthews, Max Snyder, Will Block, Samantha Greenfield, and Sarah Pugliese star in ‘Elf Jr.’

Along with “Elf Jr.,” Act Out is also presenting its annual Holiday Revue on Thursday, Dec. 20 and Friday, Dec. 21.

“Each year, performers of all ages within the Act Out family come together and sing their favorite holiday songs,” said Dan Pittman, artistic director and owner. “It is a great way to get into the holiday spirit and celebrate with friends and family.”

Act Out Theatre Group recently relocated to Dunmore from Taylor.

“Our original location in Taylor, Pennsylvania was sold in April,” said Pittman of Plymouth. “We have been working diligently to create a new environment where young performers can learn and grow as artists.”

Act Out has become a second home for Baden.

“I get to act alongside some great performers who I’m happy to call friends,” Baden said.

The theatre group is also hosting a free family fun night on Friday, Dec. 14 from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. The event will have music, karaoke, and contests, as well as games and snacks for purchase. Children can be dropped off or attend with an adult.

“The family fun night is a great opportunity for children and teens to get together and do activities that are usually only hosted for adults,” Churcher said. “They can come and dance, sing karaoke, and hang out with their friends in a comfortable environment.”

“Elf Jr.” runs on the Act Out stage (150 E. Grove St., Dunmore) from Dec. 7 through Dec. 9, with performances Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets, which are $20 for adults and $15 for students/seniors, can be purchased by e-mailing Tickets can also be purchased at the door. Pre-payment is not required. Reservations are recommended but also not required.

Act Out’s annual Holiday Revue takes place on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21, with both performances starting at 7:30 p.m. All tickets for the holiday cabaret are $10.

​The cast of ‘Elf Jr.’ includes, from left, first row: Mason Matthews, Samantha Greenfield, Sarah Pugliese, and Dylan Ofner. Second row: Ava Wheeler, Allie Katz, Caelan Howe-Baden, Will Block, Emily Carey, Max Snyder, Lorcan Baden, and Milana Snyder.