Holiday homecoming

Provided PhotographThe cast and crew of “Holly Day’s Homecoming” poses for a photograph during a recent rehearsal.

CALEDONIA – Seniors at Caledonia-Mumford Central School are at it again, staging their annual production.

This year, the original production is “Holly Day’s Homecoming,” again written by teacher Paul Meloon, who also directs. Performances are scheduled for 7 p.m. Nov. 19 and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 at the High School, 99 North St. Tickets are $8, with all proceeds going to the seniors class.

Many members of the senior class appear in the show.

The senior class play is a tradition at Cal-Mum. Each year, the seniors act and crew a short production as a class fundraiser. The shows are typically lighthearted and fun.

This year’s show takes its inspiration from comforting holiday television movies.

Meloon’s “Holly Day’s Homecoming” focuses on Holly Day, played by Sawyer Richardson, who loses her job as an event planner in the big city due to the pandemic and has to return home to her small town of Tropesville to celebrate Christmas with her family. Her parents (Bernie Bazzett and Montgomery Kessler) have taken on boarders and her two sisters (Taylor Mills and Fiona Friday) are always trying to show off their wealth.

Holly reconnects with her old boyfriend Mark Hall (Zach Kuhn), who may be having a relationship with a European princess (Katherine Beachel).

“If this sounds like the plot of a Hallmark Christmas movie it’s because it is a parody of one,” said Meloon. “This play even explains why in all of those Hallmark Christmas movies the people carry empty coffee cups and never zip up their coats outside, too.”

Meloon, who has been teaching English at Cal-Mum since 2005, has written the last six shows and is directing his 12th.

Past senior class plays from Meloon include “A Midsummer Night’s Bachelor,” a mash-up between Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and the reality television show “The Bachelor”; and “Just Another High School Play,” a production about seniors who do not ever show up for rehearsal. He found inspiration for “The Merry Students of Windsor High School” while appearing in Shakespeare’s “The Merry Wives of Windsor” with Batavia Players.

One of the plays performed by the Class of 2021, which was presented in April, was “Detective Dadd and the Mysterious Case of the Mysterious Case.” That play has been accepted by Pioneer Drama Services, a national publisher from Colorado.

Meloon said he also plans on submitting this year’s play for publication consideration. He is also about halfway through writing next year’s play.

He has said the plays have been very fun and rewarding to write.

The senior class plays have typically been presented in the fall, but the Class of 2021 production was delayed until spring by COVID-19 restrictions are in-person gatherings and other considerations.

“We are close to being back on schedule as we can be,” Meloon said.

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