South County: Polymath Players present Holly Jolly Polypalozza in Harwood

Correspondent

The Polymath Players, a children’s community theater, presents its inaugural Holly Jolly Polypalooza, “A Christmas Idol,” at the South County Recreation Center, 4510 Owensville Sudley Road in Harwood, at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $5.

“A Christmas Idol” is an original script co-written around familiar music by Polymath Theater Director Aly Cross and the Polymath Players. It is a cute, funny story about ambition, ego, love, and forgiveness. Jack Frost (Caleb King) feels unappreciated and wants to wreck Christmas. He successfully plots with Stomach Bug (Bryn Cross) to make sure Rudolph (Kilian Junkins) and all the other reindeer get sick and can’t guide Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

What he didn’t count on was the elves’ decision that all famous Christmas characters should audition to take the reindeer’s place, and Jack has a little stage fright. He competes against the Grinch (Kylee Trott), Mariah Carey (Kayla Renaldi), Dominick the Donkey (Antonia Romano), the Christmas Hippopotamus (Oli Lavanway) and Frosty the Snowman (Paisley Panikiewsky).

This is the fourth Polymath Players musical production this year.

“I’m really excited to perform onstage for my family and friends,” said Caroline Wayson, who plays the role of Toffee Elf. “I am filled with joy when I am performing live.”

A happy energy is palpable when you walk through the door of The Polymath Place, on Deale-Churchton Road. It is growing so quickly, owners Kate King and Kathy Tuttle are considering a separate location to house some of the programs, perhaps the theater, new this year.

Cross came to Polymath after teaching theater at Stageworkz in Millersville for 10 years.

“I didn’t want to drive that far anymore,” she said. “I called Kate and told her I was coming.”

“We are always trying to break the boundaries and think outside the box, even with performing arts. Some of the kids come in shy, but once onstage something happens. The environment here is judgment free, and the goal is to grow.”

A sign on the wall defines polymath: a person with a wide range of knowledge and interests. True to its name, The Polymath Place offers a variety of opportunities for children, ages 3-18.

Tutoring, winter classes, STEM activities, theater, art, music, cooking, yoga and summer camps are among the offerings. So are birthday parties and parent nights out.

King is an energetic, ambitious woman.

“I have huge dreams,” she said.

Not only is she dreaming of an annex, she is already dreaming of more locations in Calvert County, northern Anne Arundel County and California, she said.

King said she had been teaching after-school STEM and engineering classes at different facilities around the county for years, and her son, Caleb, a sixth-grader at The Key School, was involved in theater at Maryland Hall in Annapolis. Like Cross, she was tired of driving and felt there ought to be something enriching for kids a little closer to home.

In January 2017, she went to work to make it happen, working overnights developing curriculum and a business plan, and began looking for a location and funding to help get started. King found the financial support she needed from the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation’s VOLT loan program for small, minority, women- and veteran-owned businesses. AAEDC manages the VOLT fund on behalf of the Maryland Department of Commerce, which is supported by a percentage of video lottery revenue from Maryland casinos.

The Polymath Place opened seven months later. King credits her son.

“Ultimately, I can thank my son and his varied interests in bringing it (The Polymath Place) to life,” King said. From conception of the idea to now, “It felt right and perfect.”

For show tickets, call 410-867-0100.

Deale Lights Parade

The second Deale Lights Parade is set for 7 p.m. Wednesday. Boats dressed up with Christmas cheer will parade down Rockhold Creek from Hidden Harbor Marina to Skipper’s Pier.

Local judges will decide on Santa’s Best, Most Spirited and Most Griswold,and there will also be a People’s Choice award.

The event is sponsored by Dockside and Happy Harbor restaurants, Hidden Harbor Marina, Shipwright Harbor, Skippers Pier and the Southern Anne Arundel Chamber of Commerce.

You can want to watch the festivities from home; Shipwright Harbor is broadcasting via webcam at www.shipwrightharbor.com/webcam.

Email south county community news and events to Vicki Petersen at aroundsouthcounty@gmail.com.

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