ELKINS - When The Polar Express pulled out of the station at the Elkins Depot and the Elf Limited departed from Cass, D&E students and alumni took their places to tell the stories that transported passengers on a journey of Christmas enchantment. The seasonal theatrical presentations aboard the local railroads are yet another community collaboration for Davis & Elkins College and The Old Brick Playhouse.
The popular train excursions, a partnership between the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad and The Old Brick Playhouse, entertain tens of thousands of tourists and local residents each year. Officially licensed, The Polar Express train rides are based on the holiday feature film from Warner Bros. and the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg about a doubting young boy who takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole on Christmas Eve. Elf Limited, created by The Old Brick Playhouse players, is the story of elves competing to be one of the chosen few who serve in Santa’s workshop at the North Pole. In both productions, local actors portray characters as the trains travel through the scenic highlands.
D&E students who participated this season are Matt Weintraub of Lewisburg, Josh Thompson of Parsons, Abbey Sowards of Huntington, Megan Augustine of Dallas, Georgia, Michaella Young of Elkins and Morgan Sands of Elkins. Also joining the crew are alumni Katie Varchetto, ’18, who serves as lead team member, Denise Folley, ’18, Madalyn Humphrey, ’17, and Shirley Shifflett, ’18, along with D&E First Lady Lisa Wood and Instructor of Theatre Emerita Ruth Humphrey.
“If we truly collaborate and share resources, the town will prosper accordingly,” said The Old Brick Playhouse Executive Director Missy McCollam.
This spring, the College and The Old Brick will work together on several special programs.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.
Photo Caption: D&E students, alumni and friends are among the cast of The Polar Express. The train excursion is presented by the Durbin & Greenbrier Railroad and The Old Brick Playhouse in partnership with Rail Events Inc. through Warner Brothers Consumer Products, Inc.