A skeptical Susan Walker, played by Madelynn Spears, meets Kris Kringle, played by William Selby, for the first time during a scene at Macy’s toy department in Act One of the “Miracle on 34th Street” production Tuesday at the Vive Les Arts Theatre in Killeen.
Santa Claus, played by William Selby, right, talks to psychologist Alberta Sawyer, played by Christen Manuel, during a mental evaluation during a scene in “Miracle on 34th Street.” 
Children play at the apartment of Doris Walker, played by Jennifer Leaton, back left, as Santa Claus, played by William Selby, right, looks on during a scene in Act One of the “Miracle on 34th Street” production Tuesday at the Vive Les Arts Theatre in Killeen.

‘Miracle on 34th Street’ open weekends until Dec. 4

By Krista M. Madkins

Killeen Daily Herald

Vive Les Arts Theatre will debut their first Christmas performance in three years — “Miracle on 34th Street.”

The production opens today and will be available for six other viewings until Dec. 4. The cast performed four free shows for Killeen Independent School District students during the week in preparation for their first public showing tonight.

“The production is about a daughter who is told by her mother that Santa Claus does not exist,” said Jennifer Leaton, the cast member playing Doris Walker, the mother. “The mother wants her daughter to not believe in fairy tales and not to wait for prince charming to come for her because the mother was burned in a relationship.”

The story focuses on their lives and how each one finally comes around to believe in Santa Claus through the efforts of one man who truly believes he is Santa.

“It took a little over a month to prepare for this show,” said Eric Shepard, artistic director at VLA. However, the time required to perfect the show does not stop the participants from coming.

“Rehearsals for actors are like practices for athletes. We don’t really see it as work because we are so passionate about it,” said Leaton.

Leaton said the cast and crew devoted five to six weeks to rehearsals.

If you go

What: “Miracle on 34th Street”

Where: Vive Les Arts Theatre; 3401 S. W.S. Young Drive in Killeen

When: Today and Saturday, Nov. 19, 26 and 27 and Dec. 2, 3 and 4; Friday and Saturday shows will be at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees will be at 2 p.m.