The Friendly Beasts holiday production by St. Anne's School of Annapolis kindergarteners is a tradition pre-dating the founding of the school.
Caitlin Reiss, the school's director of communications, said the annual show dates back to the 1970s, when it was originally put on at St. Luke's Nursery and Kindergarten. Around 1980, the nursery relocated to St. Anne's Church and was renamed St. Anne's Nursery and Kindergarten, she said in an email.
The tradition of Friendly Beasts made the move too. In 1992, the school was founded and moved to its current location.
"Despite these changes, the production is performed in almost the exact same way it was almost 40 years ago, right down to the lyrics and costumes," Reiss said in an email. "A few more 'beasts' have been added, but that is really
the only change."
The Friendly Beasts is a Christmas play that tells the story of Jesus' birth from the perspective of the animals, including the donkey that carried Mary, the camel that carried the three wise men, and the sheep and the animals from the stable.
This year's production was directed by Anne Egan, her 18th year at the helm.
Reiss said the performance was dedicated to Marge Haux, who was the director of St. Luke's Nursery and Kindergarten when it moved to St. Anne's Church. Haux died earlier this month, she said.