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Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 22, 2017

F.A.C.T. presents ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | Dec 03, 2013
Photo by: VICKI TILLIS/Ledger photo The Herdman kids show up for the Christmas pageant casting call. Counterclock wise from the bottom step are: Claude (Blair Grunwald), Ollie (Grant Ward), Leroy (Zach Wise), Ralph (Brad Swanson), Imogene (Laurel Hilger) and Gladys (Chloe Campbell.)

Scott Slechta, director of Fairfield Area Community Theater’s winter production, kept telling me “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” was a cute, fun little play ... and it is.

Short and sweet — the play only lasts an hour — “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” is told by Beth Bradley (Megan Miller). It revolves around Beth’s mother Grace (Tena Nelson) and the struggles she encounters trying to put on the church’s Christmas pageant in the absence of Mrs. Armstrong (Heather Blakely), the regular director, who is in the hospital with a broken leg.

The pageant seems doomed when the six tough Herdman kids (Brad Swanson, Laurel Hilger, Zach Wise, Blair Grunwald, Grant Ward and Chloe Campbell) show up. The Herdman kids volunteer for key roles — like the parts of Mary and Joseph — and the regular church kids are afraid to challenge them.

The Herdman kids, who hear the story of Jesus’s birth for the first time, put their own twist on it.

But when the church ladies, (Detra Dettman and Lindsay McMartin) suggest canceling the pageant because of all the bad things they’ve heard the Herdmans are doing, Grace swears to stage the best Christmas pageant ever.

The cast is rounded out with: John Grunwald as Grace’s husband Bob; Brittan Bowman as Grace’s son Charlie; Andie Smith as Alice Wendleken; Delanie Vorhies as Maxine; Zaya Garner and Spencer Hilger as Elmer Hopkins and Hobie; Abyni Garner as Beverly; Blair Bowman as Janet; Katelyn Claman as Davina; Willow Larsen, Lucy Kuehl and Taylor Romer as Shirley, Juanita and Doris; Drew Grunwald, Shiloh Higer and Jay Smith as the firemen; and the Reverands Stacey Grau, Joe Phipps and Nick Adam — depending upon which church the play is being performed in — as the Rev. Hopkins.

The play will be performed: 7 p.m. Thursday at First Lutheran Church; 7 p.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church; 3 and 7 p.m. at St. Mary Catholic Church.

Because of limited seating, Slechta recommends buying tickets in advance. Tickets are $5 at Josie Hannes Design. Seating begins 30 minutes before curtain.

Food items for The Lord’s Cupboard will be collected at each show.

Refreshments will be served after each show, with a freewill offering collected by the host church.

NOTE: More photos from "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever" will be posted under "Buy Photos" above.

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