“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a Christmas classic about six delinquent children given roles in a church Christmas pageant, will be performed Dec. 4-6 in Dulany Auditorium at William Woods University.
Show times are 7:30 p.m. Dec. 4-6, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Dec. 7.
The book, written by Barbara Robinson in 1971, was first performed as a play in 1982 and adapted into a television movie in 1983. It is rated G.
The play tells the story of the Herdmans, six children who engage in misfit behavior for their age—smoking, drinking and shoplifting. They go to church for the first time after being told that the church offers snacks. Despite protests from other church members, they are given roles in the Sunday school’s Christmas play. They then tell the Christmas story in a nonconventional fashion, leading to mayhem and fun.
“I am so excited for everyone to see it! Christmas is my favorite time of the year and working with all of the children in the cast has been quite an experience,” said junior Melissa Williams of St. Louis, Missouri, who plays Beth Bradley.
“It is a great show about what Christmas truly means and a community that comes together whether they like it or not,” senior T.J. Green of Brandon, Mississippi, said. “It’s a great show for people of all ages to come and watch and get those warm fuzzy feelings.” Green is cast as Rev. Hopkins/Orderly.
Other students in the cast are Zachary Likens, Wentzville, Missouri, as Bob Bradley (father); Kassaundra Davidson, Center City, Minnesota, as Grace Bradley (mother); T.J. Pyatt, DeSoto, Missouri, as Ralph Herdman; Jessie Trapp, Fenton, Missouri, as Imogene Herdman; Stephen Chamineak Jr., Hazelwood, Missouri, as Leroy Herdman; Jeremy Bene, House Springs, Missouri, as Claude Herdman; Brandi Traylor, Independence, Missouri, as Mrs. Irma Slocum; Jonathan Meyer of Creve Coeur, Missouri, as fireman (in union suit); and Brandon Gibson of O’Fallon, Missouri, as a fireman.
Community performers are Devin Payne as Charlie Bradley, Rylee McCray as Ollie Herdman, Lexi Hux as Gladys Herdman, Hailey Halsey as Alice Wendleken, Samantha Cooke as Maxine, Susan M. Johnston as Mrs. Helen Armstrong, Lindsey Hux as Mrs. Edna McCarthy, Logan Garner as Elmer Hopkins, Ellie McCray as Holly Clark, Katelynn Carroll as Dana McCarthy, Reece Pahl as Beverly/Shirley, Ellen Pahl as Mrs. Clark, Lilli Hux as baby angel and Michael B. Wilson as fire chief.
Rylee, Ellie and Ty are the children of Dr. Carrie McCray, associate dean of academic assessment and associate professor of ASL interpreting. Logan Garner is the son of George Garner, associate professor of social work. Lindsey Hux is a 2004 WWU graduate, and Lexi and Lilli are her children.
The production will be directed by Kathy Potter, guest artist. Joe Potter will design the scenery and lighting. Jane Friedman will provide costume design.
Tickets for “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” are $5 for children 6 and older; $7 for students, faculty and staff; $10 for adults; and $6 for seniors, (62+).
The box office is now open. Call 573-592-4267, or go to showtix4u.com to purchase tickets.