Kris Kringle is coming to Westerville North High School.
A cast of about 70 thespians will present "Miracle on 34th Street" at 7 p.m. Dec. 14-16 and at 2 p.m. Dec. 17 in the Performing Arts Center at the high school, 950 County Line Road.
The 1947 American Christmas comedy-drama film, written and directed by George Seaton and based on a story by Valentine Davies, raises the question of whether or not Santa Claus is real.
When an elderly man named Kris Kringle lands a job working as Santa for Macy's department store, customers start to believe he is the real St. Nick.
Kringle unleashes waves of goodwill with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City.
He even helps a little girl and her mother to believe. Kringle is put on trial to determine, once and for all, if Santa Claus truly exists.
Westerville North drama director Kim Mollohan said it's a story about love, faith and a world we all want to believe in.
As a little girl, Mollohan said, she loved Santa Claus and watching Christmas movies with her grandmother.
"Our absolute favorite holiday film was 'Miracle on 34th Street,'" she said. "I could certainly relate, as I was a true 'believer' and my middle name just happened to be the same as the little girl's name in the movie.
"As I got a bit older, I came to love New York City and loved shopping with my mother at Macy's."
To this day, Mollohan said, Macy's is still her favorite department store.
"As an adult living and working in New York City, I got to experience Macy's beautiful and festive holiday decor and the opportunity to take my own children to see Santa and the real 34th Street location," she said.
Like the movie and this play, Mollohan said, she hopes the performance will bring great joy.
"It has been such a pleasure directing over 50 North theatre students in this production, and another 20 or more little cast member from various elementary schools throughout the district."
Mollohan said it also has been wonderful to work with Westerville's Roy Nichols, as Kris Kringle, who took time out from his busy schedule to be part of the production.
Nichols said he's a member of professional organizations including Buckeye Santa's and Heart of Ohio Santa's. He has worked at Westerville's Snowflake Castle since 2012.
"I think this is a once in a lifetime role," he said.
Nichols said audiences will enjoy seeing how many children are involved in "Miracle."
"There are a lot of good kids in this play," he said. "The little tykes have been impressive."
Nichols said he loves the story, and Mollohan has included a few scenes in the beginning of the show that weren't part of the story.
"The movie doesn't have singing, but Mrs. Mollohan was aware of my (vocal experience)," he said.
Nichols will sing the Gene Autry song, "When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter."
"It's a nice touch that isn't in the movie," he said.
Nine-year-old Avamarie Hedrick, an Emerson Elementary School student, plays the role of Susan Walker.
"She's not very playful," Hedrick said. "She's more mature. I like that she's different from everyone else in the story."
Hedrick said audiences will like the humor in the story as well as the loving relationship between Susan Walker and her mother.
Show tickets cost $6 and can be purchased online at Ticketleap.com or at the door.