The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

The Voice of Wakefield High School

The Howler

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Wakefield wraps on annual Winter Wonderland show

Photo courtesy of Doug Owens
Wakefield wraps on their annual Winter Wonderland show. This year, a new storyline was introduced, bringing even more Christmas holiday cheer to the Wakefield community.

On Dec. 7 and 8, the different facets of Wakefield High School’s arts department collaborated to create their iconic Winter Wonderland show. This annual Wakefield tradition encompasses true holiday cheer, including beloved holiday songs, dancing and fun for all ages.

Last year, the show functioned as a showcase, including a section for theater, dance and band to perform individually. This year, a storyline was added as a way to connect each of these aspects into one, cohesive show. The show focuses on a spunky young boy’s journey to becoming one of Santa’s helpers. Through a series of rigorous and comical challenges, he is tested on many skills and ultimately discovers the true value of friendship and family. 

Paul Orsett, Wakefield theater teacher and pioneer of this new take on the Winter Wonderland show, speaks on his role in forming the new storyline. 

“The takeaway from last year was to find a storyline,” Orsett said. “I had taken a job working with a dance company in Cary who did a production.” 

Excited by their production, Orsett was inspired to add a similar story to the Winter Wonderland production. 

In this performance, it was really cool to work with other parts of the arts department.

— Chen

“I negotiated with them to be able to use their script,” Orsett said. “The upper-level theater class took it upon their shoulders to take that story and expand it.”

With this fresh plot, this year’s edition of the Winter Wonderland show also incited further collaboration of Wakefield’s arts departments. Jake Eisenberg, who starred in the show, describes how this change made the show unique compared to years past. 

“[In past years] instead of doing one big [story], theater had their performance, there was a dance, and then there would be a song played by orchestra [and band], and it was all separated,” Eisenberg said.

Many participants found this teamwork very rewarding, including Wakefield senior and flutist for the band, Alice Chen. 

“Normally when I’m playing in [the] band I never really go and interact with other parts of the [arts department],” Chen said. “In this performance, it was really cool to work with other parts of the arts department.”  

The show also served as a growth opportunity for many students, such as Nayelie Ayala, who worked in sound for the Winter Wonderland show. This show was one of Ayala’s first experiences doing sound and saw it as a great learning experience. 

“It was a fun show for everyone, I really enjoyed it,” Ayala said. “[I grew a lot in] learning how to manage sound better.” 

All in all, this year’s Winter Wonderland show was certainly a success and will continue to be an iconic tradition that brings yearly joy to the Wakefield community.

“The impact that it has, it wasn’t just one thing, it was the impact that all the different [arts] had on these people that came to see this thing that we put together,” said Orsett.

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