St. Bernard Middle School performs ‘The First Christmas’

Mary (Joy Lamote) looks at the newborn Christ in the nativity. (St. Bernard)

CULLMAN, Ala. – St. Bernard Preparatory Middle School performed “The First Christmas” Dec. 9-11 in the Abbey Byre. The production showcased the musical and performing talents of the middle school choir and students. 

The 11-person cast included Emily Gutowski (Sharif), Emily Gutowski (Omar), Sean Daly (Zacharias and Melchior), Avery Hines (Elisabeth), Ella Cron (Gabriel), Joy Lamote (Mary), Cameron Smiley (Joseph), Ella Davis (Caspar), Marlee Harshaw (Balthazar), Norah Bissot (Bob), and Tessa Sanders (Narrator).  Caroline McBride, Emilie Gutowski, Joy Lamote, Avery Hines, Sean Daly and Ella Cron all performed solos. 

“The First Christmas” is a musical production explaining the backstory to Jesus Christ’s birth.  It was truly a performance of the whole nativity, demonstrating how so many occurrences came together to prepare for that wonderful birth.  

Under the choral direction of Sister Thérèse Lopez, the show had some familiar Christmas songs but also some new ones – all performed by the Middle School Choir.  “We wanted to have a performance that had a little bit of humor, so this one was the perfect choice,” Sister Thérèse shared. 

English teacher Kirsten Dickerson directed the play and overall performance.  “We were intentional and purposeful when casting the characters. The characters had some challenging singing solos, and we wanted to showcase the talents of our students,” Dickerson explained.   

The most pivotal moment of the performance took place when Ella Cron and Joy Lamote performed “Blessed (Mary)” and “Handmaid of the Lord.” The scene focused on when Gabriel told Mary that she would carry and be the mother of Jesus.  

Dickerson said that moment is extremely important in our Catholic faith and beliefs.  “These young women executed the scene with sincerity and intention. It was beautiful!” 

Assisting with production were Johnathan McBride and Lena Impastato.  

SBP’s high school drama department will continue the excitement and perform “The Canterbury Tales or… Geoffrey Chaucer’s Flying Circus” in the spring.