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baltimoresun.com

Warm reception for holiday musical at Halethorpe Elementary School

By Keith Meisel, kmeisel@tribune.com

4:24 PM EST, December 19, 2011

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Rehearsals began in early October, when thoughts of snow were hard to conjure up for students at Halethorpe Elementary School.

Last week, the hard work paid off as a standing room audience enjoyed the evening performance of "Melton, the Warm-Hearted Snowman" by the students at the school on Maple Avenue.

The Dec. 15 performance was the third of the day for drama club's 60 students in grades three through five under the direction of Beck Miskimon, a kindergarten teacher who is head of the club.

"We printed 150 programs, and we ran out," she said.

Students at the school enjoyed the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. productions last Thursday while the 7 p.m. performance was reserved for parents and family.

"There are a lot of one-liners, so it's funny, cute and warm-hearted," said Mission.

Rehearsals went smoothly, she said, as the students first learned the choreography then staging and their lines.

The only impediment was "there was a lot of illness this year," she said.

She said she chose the musical about the search for how to keep a snowman built with a warm heart from melting based on its attraction for students from kindergarten through fifth grade.

"We adapted it a little bit," said Miskimon, noting the "elves" characters were changed to "fourth-graders, because they know everything."

Miskimon, who has been teaching kindergarten at the school for 10 years, added a more local component by changing the reindeer to Raven-deer and had the characters don Ravens jerseys.