Merriment and Self-Discovery: “Elf The Musical Jr.” Onstage

Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised, unaware that he is actually a human, until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to locate his birth father in New York City.

Based on the beloved holiday film, “Elf The Musical Jr.,” a hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy – as embodied onstage by Mount Madonna School’s (MMS) middle school cast – follows Buddy the elf in his quest to find his true identity.

Performances are December 9 and 10 at 2:00pm at Mount Madonna School’s Hawks’ Nest Theater. Tickets on sale November 1 at Adult tickets are $15; $10 for 18 and under; all seats are reserved.

Faced with the harsh reality that his father is on the “naughty list” and that his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

“Elf Jr.” is a sleigh ride through the core values of friendship, openness and self-discovery – all served up with a generous helping of holiday cheer,” commented Director Chelsea Otterness. “It’s a story that will entertain, and also teach lessons our young cast will carry with them for life.”

“The message of this story is that it is important to believe in things even if you think they are childish and silly,” said eighth grader Jacqui Overson, who plays the role of Jovi, Buddy’s love interest. “You don’t need to be serious and sulky all the time. In the beginning, Jovi was really grumpy and tired, and I can relate to this being a middle school student. Teenager hormones make you grumpy! When you leave elementary school and get into middle school, sometimes you start not wanting to do fun kid stuff, and I feel that shouldn’t happen. You should continue to enjoy childlike things; better enjoy it while you can and don’t grow up in a negative sense!”

Eighth grader Deja Orozco is cast in the role of Santa Claus.

“Santa wants people to be on the good list and doesn’t enjoy giving people coal,” said Orozco. “Santa cares for people a lot, and I really do care about my loved ones too. Santa Claus likes to teach the elves, and I like to do this too; I teach my niece how to be caring and how to interact with people who aren’t being nice to her. As eighth graders, we are leaders and care for our community, the same way Santa does with his community.”

“My character is Walter Hobbs and he seems scarred from his past,” said eighth grader Aiden Powers. “His ex-wife died and now he has a son and new wife, and only cares about his job. During the story, he shows growth; at first he doesn’t care about his family and then he learns how to embrace family.”

Originally produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures in association with Unique Features, “Elf The Musical Jr.” is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Mount Madonna School has a longstanding tradition of performing arts for students preschool through high school; and beyond outstanding performances, engaging in performing arts prepares students for life well beyond the stage.

“Performing arts prepares you for public speaking,” said Powers. “The experience – saying lines and singing on a stage – makes it easier to talk in front of anyone.”

Join Mount Madonna students to let the laughter roll, the joy overflow and the merriment run wild – it’s going to be a jolly good time!


Nestled among the redwoods on 380 acres, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is a diverse learning community dedicated to creative, intellectual, and ethical growth. MMS supports its students in becoming caring, self-aware, discerning and articulate individuals; and believes a fulfilling life includes personal accomplishments, meaningful relationships and service to society. The program, accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) and Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC), emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville. Founded in 1979.