‘The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical’ Tour Stops in Baltimore Q&A with writer Sara Wordsworth

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Photo: Ken Ek

 

Step into the North Pole alongside a scout elf from the beloved “Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Tradition” as he gathers friends to help his human family remember the importance of Christmas cheer.

The Lumistella Company—creator of the iconic brand—and Mills Entertainment present an original stage production, “The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical,” for one performance only at The Lyric on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 3 p.m.

Sara Wordsworth—a New York -based musical theatre writer and mom of an 8-year-old, whose credits include music and lyrics for Broadway’s “In Transit” and adaptations for Disney Cruise Lines including “Beauty and the Beast,” “Frozen” and “Aladdin”—wrote the script and lyrics in collaboration with composer Russ Caplan.

She spoke with Baltimore’s Child about bringing the show to life.

 

Tickets start at $29.95; lyricbaltimore.com

 

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Photo: Ken Ek
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Photo: Ken Ek

 

Q&A:

 

Elf on the Shelf is such an iconic brand. How does the show capture the spirit of what people know and love?

What we wanted to do with the musical is really make it what the Elf on the Shelf is all about, which is the power of families and holiday traditions both old and new. One of the greatest joys for me of having the opportunity to make this original musical was getting to work alongside the original creators and the authors of the original “Elf on a Shelf” books, so that was such a pleasure because we could work together to make sure that we are doing justice to what Elf on the Shelf is and what it means to families everywhere.

 

Sara Wordsworth
Sara Wordsworth |Photo: Sara Wordsworth

How did it feel to bring that to life?

I felt a great responsibility, but also it was a great privilege because this means so much to so many people. And the interesting thing about the scout elf is they give them a name and you know they interact with their family in whatever ways their family tradition is set up. But it was really a special thing to be able to bring all that together. The show not only tells the story of a family and their elf, but it also gives a sneak peek into Santa’s North Pole. You get an exclusive look at the North Pole and how you even become a scout elf. It was just so much fun to bring this to life for the stage, and it has never been done before.

 

Why did you decide to write this story?

I had an elf in my home, and I knew how much fun it was and how much it meant to our family. I just thought it was something fun to be able to work on. But I also knew that through the magic of live theater, we could touch a lot of children. And when I met the creators and understood their mission and what it meant to them, I wanted to be able to work with them. It felt like a very exciting opportunity but also a way that I could contribute something positive to the world.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the original creators are women and that they are twin daughters and a mom—the daughters are my age, adult women—but I was so taken by the fact that this was a female-driven company and a female-driven narrative. I wanted to work among these empowering women. They came up with this entire idea in 2005, and now it’s a Christmas season staple around the world. Thirteen million customers nationwide have welcomed a scout elf into their homes.

 

What are some highlights of the show?

The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Photo: Ken Ek
The Elf on the Shelf: A Christmas Musical | Photo: Ken Ek

When you come to see the show, you are going to see an original Broadway-style musical. It is just beautiful with lots of upbeat dancing—amazing original choreography that’s so exciting, and of course a score full of original songs that just feel so exciting and really capture the spirit of Christmas.

I think what surprises people is how heartwarming it is and what a meaningful story. As I said, we juxtapose the scout elves at the North Pole with a real story of a family struggling to find light after a very dark period of time and how they find their way back to Christmas. I think one of the highlights for me of the show is how heartwarming it is in addition to being funny and entertaining. You really feel a closeness with your family when you see the show, and you’re really reminded of the true meaning of Christmas.

 

What do you hope people take away from this story?

The show opened in 2019. Last year of course we weren’t able to have the show because of COVID-19. The show has always been a story about finding light after a dark period of time. But I feel like now more than ever it will be meaningful for families to see how you come back after a loss. How you recover, how you claim traditions, how you build new ones. How you deal with things you’ve lost in your life. You know we’ve all suffered because of the pandemic. We’ve all had trauma in many different ways, but children especially have had a lot of loss. Whether that was loss of school or loss of being able to see their grandparents for a long time. Or you know, sadly, even more tragic losses. And they understand that in a way that they didn’t before.

 

About Lindsay VanAsdalan

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