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Classic Christmas Performance in the Works

Anna Grace Agee,  staff writer

 

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a merry story known to many since 1971 when it was first published. Since then, the famous Christmas story starring the delinquent Herdman children has become a popular play around the holiday season. Director Christine Corrieri and the Louisa Arts Center have been working tirelessly to bring this classic show to the stage in Louisa in the form of an ensemble.

Performances of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will start on Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m. There will be three more performances on Dec. 9 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. The show will last two hours and will include an intermission.

The cast performing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is made up of 17 students ranging from ages 6 to 16 and eight adults. The main character of Grace Bradley is played by Allyson Dodson who recently graduated from Averett University with a degree in Theatre. Along with an age diverse cast, there is a stage crew made up of two adults and four students and a technical crew which includes two adults and three students.

Corrieri, the cast, and crew have been working many hours to bring the audience from Louisa and surrounding areas a Christmas play to remember.

They have been rehearsing since the end of September and will be continuing rehearsals up until the play’s opening on Dec. 8.

“Our rehearsal situation is very unique and with both adults and a large number of young children in this musical production, coupled with the fact that it is a community theatre and not equity… our rehearsal schedule has been spread out liberal,” said Corrieri.

The production team for the play consists of a properties manager, a costumer, and a set construction captain, each of whom have volunteer assistants aiding them through the process. The business tasks are carried out by the Louisa Arts Center’s staff.

Corrieri also praises the Louisa Arts Center Board of Directors who she says “has been hugely supportive.” The staff and board members have taken care of the administration and advertising of the play.

Corrieri added that interns from her intern program have helped keep everyone involved in the production on track.

When describing the expectations and high stakes leading up to the performance, Corrieri said, “If ticket sales are any indicator of the way the show is being received by our patrons…well then this is clearly where they want to be and what they want to see. That of course comes with a great deal of pressure as a director…it’s that kind of pressure we live and die for!”

Being that the play is centered around Christmas and the joy of the season, Corrieri has planned many other activities for her crew to participate in. The cast will be opening the Louisa Tree Lighting ceremony at the county courthouse on Dec. 1 with a medley of Christmas Carols. This will serve as a warm up for the final rehearsal, Corrieri stated. The cast will also participate in the Louisa Christmas parade: “singing, of course,” Corrieri stated. She said that participating in the community events is “a great reward for the community, exposure for the Louisa Arts Center, and the students take away more life lessons.”

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and additional performances leading up to the production is a way to give back to the community and to provide joy to community members. Corrieri emphasized the importance of the show as providing for the welfare of the community.

She wants to use the production as a thank you to all who support the Louisa Arts Center and for it to be an outreach to collect food and toys for local charities.

During the performances in December, the Louisa Arts Center will be collecting food for Baskets for the Needy.

Corrieri described the play as a “wonderful, toe-tapping, feel-good, family-friendly holiday show.”

“The playscript is crafted with great humor, humility, and poignant moments with great characters, into which the actors can really sink their teeth and to which the audience can relate,” added Corrieri.

 

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Posted by on Dec 7 2017. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, From the Forum, Fun, Local News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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