Partridges and Preparation

Seniors Plan for Annual Twelve Days Celebration


Photo credit: Ben Rachel

Seniors Charles Fardon and Jack Kahan rehearse drumming skit.

Every year on the Friday before winter break the school gathers to sing “the Twelve days of Christmas” and watch seniors enact the individual verses. This year the seniors are working harder than ever to ensure an amazing performance. Senior and creative director Ben Rachel said, “I think we are on the right path to creating a really good and entertaining ‘Twelve days.’” 

The main goal of the seniors this year is to make the yearly performance less boring. “‘Twelve Days’ is the last thing we have to do before we get to a break. Especially in the past, I wasn’t really paying attention. I was just trying to get out. This year we’re trying to make it something everybody wants to finish,” senior and creative director AJ O’Toole said. Senior Kymari Hart who is Mrs. Claus and one of the nine ladies dancing is not sure that they will succeed in making “Twelve  Days” less boring, but she is hopeful. “I don’t know if it’s going to be exciting because everyone has a different sense of humor, but I thought the creative directors have a really good sense of humor. And I feel like we can make this really fun and enjoyable.”

The process this year has been spearheaded by creative directors Ethan Silets, Johnny Mansueto, Ben Rachel, and AJ O’Toole. Unlike in previous years when their titles were script writers, their goal this year is to have more oversight on the whole production as a whole. “ As creative directors we oversee all skits, scripts, music. We film, we help with the acting. We oversee all the individual acts and the skits in between them,” Rachel said. “The theme this year is uniqueness and innovation, so we are trying to stray away from all of those typical tropes of Twelve days,” creative director Johnny Mansueto said. “ We are really striving for a unique experience and production this year to make “Twelve Days” just a more immersive and fun experience.” 

The seniors have been striving to make the show more exciting for younger audiences as well. “ People from the Intermediate School, Lower School, and Middle School felt that there were too many private jokes for the little kids to get,” Upper School learning resources and 12th grade head Bridget Walsh said, “so this year we really reminded the seniors from the start that this is a production that is supposed to encapsulate the mission of the school and the enthusiasm of the whole school.”

In recent years partially due to the COVID-19 pandemic, “Twelve  Days” has been largely virtual. Even last year when “Twelve Days” took place in person many of the individual skits were videotaped. The creative directors said that this year they wanted to be more balanced in their use of live and videotaped skits. “I think we have found a really good balance this year between both film and live skits,” O’Toole said, “ but there’s a film aspect to it to, because that’s something that has become a really big part of today’s world, and that gives us a bit more opportunity and a bit more comfortability for those students who feel less comfortable in a live skit.”

For seniors the work is difficult but rewarding. “‘Twelve Days’ has been very fun but also very stressful for me as a senior because you have college and homework and all that stuff as well.” In addition there is a lot of pressure to help bring back “Twelve Days”  after COVID. “Freshman year was super-amazing in my opinion and was super-fun, but I will be completely honest the past two years, but I guess we lost our touch after COVID, so I hope we seniors can bring back this amazing tradition,” Hart said.

“We’re just excited as of now, we are on the right track to creating a really good and entertaining ‘Twelve Days’. We definitely think that some of the stuff we have done this year will shape 12 days into something new and something more exciting,” Rachel said.  

As Silets puts it “ Our class is really motivated and inspired to make ‘Twelve Days’ the best it can be, and we hope to make ‘Twelve Days’ a little bit more anticipated for next year.”