By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Being locked inside a school during Christmas vacation because of a snowstorm isn’t a kid’s idea of fun. But students at Saint Patrick Catholic Academy in Bay Ridge used that concept as the plot of a play about the real meaning of Christmas.
The play, titled “I Need a Little Christmas Vacation,” was the third act of the school’s Christmas pageant, presented on Dec. 13 at the school, located at 401 97th St. The play gave students a chance to show off their acting and singing skills as they portrayed a group of friends trapped in a school during a snowstorm that threatens to strand them there through Christmas break.
Although the main characters know what they’d rather be doing during the holiday week instead of being stuck in school, they grow to understand that Christmas is about more than just presents and vacations. A little holiday magic – and a visit from Santa Claus – makes it possible for them to leave the school and return to their families just in time for Christmas.
Other highlights of the Christmas pageant featured students from pre-kindergarten to eighth grade singing traditional Christmas songs and telling the Biblical story of Jesus’ birth in a manger in Bethlehem.
Andrea D'Emic, principal of St. Patrick's Catholic Academy, said this year's pageant had a different look than in previous years. She credited Musical Director Brian Worsdale with the show's success. "In previous years, it was our younger students who performed in our Christmas show. Brian had a vision to include the whole school. Our eighth graders were the primary actors in the play. But each class had a segment," D'Emic told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
The Academy’s youngest students opened the show with an energetic performance of popular Christmas songs like “Let It Snow,” “Frosty” and “Sleigh Ride.” The first and second graders sang favorites like “O Christmas Tree,” “Deck the Halls” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.”
The final act of the evening featured talented third-graders acting out the Christmas Story of the birth of Jesus. Songs like “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” “Away in a Manger,” “Silent Night,” We Three Kings” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing” accompanied the narration of the Biblical scene unfolding on stage. "That is a tradition at St. Patrick's. Our third graders by tradition perform the Nativity scene," D'Emic told the Eagle.
After the final curtain closed, and the children took their bows, D’Emic publicly thanked Worsdale and the pageant's coordinator Paulette Lindroth for organizing the pageant.
D’Emic also wished everyone in the audience a Merry Christmas.
The article was updated to include comments from Principal Andrea D'Emic.