Dallas Academy’s Department of Music and Performing Arts took audiences on a magical journey to the North Pole during this year’s holiday musical production of The Polar Express. Dallas Academy’s Director of Music and Performing Arts, Molly Phillips Grogan, MT-BC, adapted the show for the Dallas Academy stage from the children's book by Chris Van Allsburg which was made popular by the 2004 Warner Brothers film.
The Polar Express has become a holiday classic and emphasizes the power of believing in the magic of the season. The play tells the story of a boy who doubts the existence of Santa Claus but winds up jumping aboard a magical train bound for the North Pole. During his journey the boy meets a colorful cast of characters including children, a train conductor, and Santa’s elves. The boy’s adventure concludes with a visit to Santa’s workshop where he is selected to receive a gift of a sleigh bell from Santa Claus. The boy is pleased by his new gift but later loses it when returning home. On Christmas morning, the boy finds a present from Santa Claus with the missing bell inside. The bell is only able to be heard to those who truly believe in the spirit of the season. With the boy’s faith in Santa renewed, he is able to hear the bell ring.
The Dallas Academy community always looks forward to the annual musical to usher in the holiday season. This year’s holiday production was the largest to date with close to sixty students participating in roles both on the stage and behind the scenes. Freshman Mitchell Riley of East Dallas starred in the show as The Conductor of the magical Polar Express. Sixth grader Henry Cowsert of Lakewood also starred in the show as The Boy who questions the existence of Santa Claus. Sixth graders Miranda Rios of East Dallas and Aiden Langford of Lakewood also led their talents as The Girl and Billy, respectively. Sophomore Trevor Quaid of East Dallas provided perfect comedic timing to the role of Hobo Ghost, a character on the train. The Dallas Academy Singers provided beautiful musical interludes throughout the show. Dallas Academy Headmaster, Jim Richardson, delighted the audience with his performance as Santa Claus. The show would not have been possible without the dedicated support of the numerous volunteers, especially Dallas Academy parent Jesse Diaz, who donated countless hours to design sets, create costumes, and gather props.
The play ended on a high note when the Dallas Academy Singers, led by soloist Grace Barton, an eighth grader from Lake Highlands, sang the Christmas song “Believe” which was made popular by the film. The show, and its message for the holiday season, helped the audience renew their belief in the magic of Christmas.