West County: Severn teen stars in Talent Machine's 'Holiday Cheer' production

The Talent Machine Company’s annual holiday show production is fast approaching.

In addition to being entertaining, the holiday show is a chance to showcase some of the area’s up-and-coming, young talent. One such performer, Joseph Hancock, takes the Talent Machine’s stage for his first winter holiday production, “Holiday Cheer 2018.”

Joseph is a resident of Severn and an eighth-grader at Monsignor Slade Catholic School, where he began his theatrical career. He’s performed in two of his middle school’s musical productions.

Appearing onstage for the first time in the classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” Joseph landed a dual role.

“In my school‘s production of ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ I played a munchkin (Lollipop Guild) and a Winkie (a member of the Witch’s Guard),” he said.

Joseph’s second musical performance at Monsignor Slade was another classic, the iconic “The Sound of Music.” This time, his part was one of a stand-alone character in addition to performing in the ensemble and/or chorus.

“In ‘The Sound of Music,’ I played the part of Kurt Von Trapp and I was also in this summer’s Talent Machine’s production of ‘42nd Street,’ ” he said.

This year’s Talent Machine winter production of “Holiday Cheer 2018” is sure to add another feather to Joseph’s cap. This upbeat show includes all the traditional holiday tunes as well as some new, high-energy musical numbers guaranteed to appeal to an audience of all ages.

A cast of 60 youngsters, ages 6 to 18, from around the area will join in the celebration with Rudolf, Frosty, and the Elves, in a spectacular holiday showcase of song and dance, as they debut a brand-new set for the occasion.

Joseph has his work cut out for him as well, as he takes on his appointed role in “Holiday Cheer 2018.”

“I’ve been cast as Raggedy Andy; however, I also perform in other numbers as well,” Joseph said. “I couldn’t believe it when my mom told me that I had got in the show. I immediately called my friends and grandparents to tell them the great news.”

Joseph was initially interested in film and new media but feels his theater experience gives him a needed insight into that world.

“Theater is giving me a great understanding about what it’s like to be acting and I wouldn’t mind doing this as well,” he said.

“At first I was really unsure about theater, I was mainly nervous that I will not fit in or I’ll get teased, however as soon as I gave it a shot I instantly loved it.”

Joseph said it is the memories made, people met and performances for others that makes the commitment worthwhile.

“Being able to make someone smile, laugh or cheer them up just seemed like a great idea to me,” he said. “I am thankful for place like Talent Machine to give the opportunity to do what I love.”

“Holiday Cheer 2018” will run Dec. 14-16 and Dec. 20-23 at St. John’s College Key Auditorium, 60 College Ave. in Annapolis. Evenings and matinee show times are available.

Ticket prices are $15 and can be purchased at the door, online at www.talentmachine.com or by emailing the box office at tmcholiday@hotmail.com.

Wreaths Across America

National Wreaths Across America Day is celebrated Dec.15 with wreath-laying ceremonies taking place at cemeteries across the country to honor and remember those who served our country. Ivy Hill Cemetery in Laurel needs volunteers to assist with the laying of the wreaths at their 11 a.m. ceremony scheduled Dec. 15.

For more information or to lend a hand, visit www.wreathsacrossamerica.org and enter Ivy Hill or ZIP code 20707.

To submit news for Severn, Hanover, Jessup, Harmans, Fort George G. Meade and Maryland City, contact Sharon P. Schultz at pinkladysps@gmail.com.

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