Flat Rock Playhouse to Present THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER!

Flat Rock Playhouse to Present THE BEST CHRISTMAS PAGEANT EVER!The holiday season, with the glow of candles and lights, gathering of families, and sense of spirit and cheer, is not always as picture perfect as the books and movies describe. Sometimes the family dog eats the apple pie, the siblings squabble and knock mom's favorite ornament off the tree, and the Baby Jesus in the church Christmas Pageant ironically screams through the entire song, Silent Night.

Join Flat Rock Playhouse's Studio 52 Family Series for a story of those very less than perfect, but hilarious, moments of the holiday season that make Christmas... well, Christmas! With fifty local performers telling the tale of the very rambunctious Herman kids and their invasion of a church Christmas Pageant, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will tickle children and parents alike in its three week run from November 30th - December 17th at The Playhouse Downtown.

The Herdmans are an outrageous family of sibling outlaws, affectionately called, "the worst kids in the history of the word". In The Best Christmas Pageant Ever these Herdman terrors invade church one Sunday and somehow manage to take over the annual Christmas Pageant, with no knowledge of the traditional Christmas story, Joseph, Mary or Baby Jesus. Oh my! Naturally this creates a certain level of anticipation, better described as an overwhelming sense of doom, as everyone worries that this year's pageant will be horrible. At the very least, it will be a most unusual one that everyone will remember for years to come. Director Dave Hart emphasizes the hilarious and heartwarming nature of this production with its many memorable moments ranging from, "the Three Wise Men, a ham, scared shepherds and six very rowdy kids. Through the lens of these rough children, we watch them try to understand the Christmas story from the bible and perhaps remember, ourselves, what Christmas is truly about."

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will provide the opportunity for fifty local performers of all ages (ranging from 4 - 60+) to take the stage, perhaps for their very first time. There will be two casts that switch off during the course of the run, which will ensure a range of interpretation and uniquely different storytelling for double the fun. From young children and students to parents and grandparents, the Studio 52 Family Series continues to bring its mission to life in providing hands-on theatrical learning experiences for all.

Directed by Hart, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will feature designs by Dennis C. Maulden (scenic), CJ Barnwell (lights), Ashli Crump (costumes), Kurt Conway (sound) and Paul Feraldi (props). Zeinab Caskey will Stage Manage with assistance from Student Stage Manager Riley Hewitt. Adam Goodrum will be the Production Manager.

The Executive Producer of this Studio 52 Family Series production is Park Ridge Health. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is also sponsored by Flat Rock Playhouse's Downtown Series Sponsor, Rug and Home. Appropriate for all ages, this holiday-gone-awry comedy will offer fun for the whole family!

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will run November 30th through the December 17th at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown. Evening performances Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:00PM and matinées Saturdays and Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets are $12.50 - $25 and can be purchased by calling the Playhouse Box Office at 828-693-0731 or online at www.flatrockplayhouse.org. The Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown is located at 125 South Main Street in Hendersonville, NC.

In 1937, a group of struggling performers, led by Robroy Farquhar, organized themselves as the Vagabond Players. The Vagabonds worked in a variety of places over the course of three years, and in 1940 found themselves in the Blue Ridge region of Western North Carolina. The local and tourist community welcomed them with open arms when they presented their first summer season of plays in a 150-year-old grist mill they converted into The Old Mill Playhouse at Highland Lake. So successful was that summer, they returned in 1941. After WWII, the Vagabond Players reorganized, came back to the region and opened a playhouse in nearby Lake Summit. The Lake Summit Playhouse thrived during the post war years and soon the Vagabond Players were looking for a larger and permanent home. In 1952, the troupe of performers, and a newly formed board of directors, made an offer to buy an 8-acre lot in the Village of Flat Rock. This new home made the Vagabonds "locals" and a rented big top gave birth to Flat Rock Playhouse. As the beautiful Western Carolina region continued to grow, so did the Playhouse and in 1961, by Act of the North Carolina General Assembly, Flat Rock Playhouse was officially designated The State Theatre of North Carolina. What began as a few weeks of summer performances in 1940 is now a nine-month season of plays including Broadway musicals, comedy, drama, and theatre for young audiences. The Playhouse's dual mission of producing the performing arts and providing education in the performing arts includes a professional series; a summer and fall college apprentice and intern program; and Studio 52, year-round classes and workshops in theatre and film for students from kindergarten through adults. Flat Rock Playhouse now hosts over 98,000 patrons annually and is a significant contributor to the local economy and the Arts in North Carolina.


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