Prancing Through the Snow

Theatre Prospero will bring their holiday hit show Enchanted Antlers to schools virtually, thanks to $4,900 ECF grant

Many shows come to mind when people think of Christmas, but Theatre Prospero brings a uniquely local Christmas show to students in Edmonton schools.

Enchanted Antlers is an interactive children’s show that tells the story of Elk, Moose, and Deer as they gather in the woods to celebrate the holidays. Jennifer Spencer, a theatre professor at MacEwan University, created the concept for Enchanted Antlers with a few of her students.

“Creating stories and sharing stories is deeply embedded in our DNA, and everyone has a story to tell,” says Spencer. “When we tour Enchanted Antlers, there’s always this moment where the kids are so invested in the story. When you look out at their little faces, it’s like the gym walls have fallen away.”

The show changes every year, with the addition of new characters and plot lines, adding to the excitement the kids feel when they see the show.

Usually, Enchanted Antlers would be performed at different schools in North-East Edmonton. While there won’t be in-person shows this year, kids will still get to be whisked away into the story from home.

“When we were in the early stages of planning this 20th-Anniversary season, we quickly recognized that this could be a year where students might not experience performances due to the pandemic,” says Mark Henderson, Theatre Prospero’s Artistic Director. “It then became our mission to ensure that this did not happen.”

With the help of a $4,900 grant from Edmonton Community Foundation, Theatre Prospero will be able to produce and stream their “hooved holiday hit” to schools this holiday season. The show will reach at least 500 students.

“The pandemic has changed so much about our lives, but it hasn’t changed that Edmonton has an amazing and responsive arts community and that kids still want to see and hear a creative and captivating story,” Craig Stumpf-Allen, ECF’s Director of Grants and Community Engagement said.

Theatre Prospero will also provide schools with interactive creative-craft kits. Students will receive all the necessary materials to create their very own reindeer antlers to wear during the show.

“With the support of Edmonton Community Foundation, Theatre Prospero can continue to advance our mandate and efforts of providing quality, engaging, and affordable live theatre for youth during a truly unpredictable time,” says Henderson.

Theatre Prospero values bringing the arts to kids and performing Enchanted Antlers to them during a pandemic is incredibly essential.

“I just wrote the ending of this year’s show, and what I think about when I’m writing is the response that we’ll get from the children,” says Spencer. “I think they’ll love it, and it will bring some happiness to them in these hard times.”