The Best Christmas Pageant Ever at SteppingStone Theatre is one of those Christmas items that is on my checklist every year. Unfortunately, it tends to get pushed aside for other things because I know I can always catch it next year. Not this year!
SteppingStone has announced that after this year, this beloved classic is getting sent to the vault. We don’t know when we’ll see it again. If, like me, it’s been on your checklist, this is the year to act. If you don’t know about, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, let me give you a quick history.
The book of the same name was first published in 1971 and was actually the first in a trilogy of stories about six troubled siblings, the chaos they create, and what happens when they have a chance to prove themselves.
A decade later, the play and then the made-for-TV movie followed. It was one of my favorite read-aloud books of the season and the movie, surprisingly, has stood the test of time for me. (You can find it on YouTube).
Steppingstone has a reputation for productions that challenge us to be the best human beings we can be. I particularly love this story, because it reminds us, particularly those of us who claim Christianity, to look closely at our own behavior before judging others based on our limited knowledge. The Herdman children, although less parented then their peers, are ultimately good kids. The good Christian gossips are proven wrong in all their dire predictions. (Sorry for the spoiler).
One of my favorite moments in the movie is when the little girl who is narrating tells her dad she believes the Hermans will make the Holy Family look like a bunch of immigrants and her father reminds her that that is exactly what they were. I can’t wait to see this performed by the talented young actors of Steppingstone.
The year, Dane Stauffer directs the classic at Steppingstone. Dane grew up in Minnesota and was active at Children’s Theatre Company. Then, he went to New York City to act, direct, sing, perform, etc. He has recently moved from LA to be back in Minnesota.
Since 1992/93, Dane has been working with Steppingstone Theatre, writing and directing. Some of this work includes Stone Soup Feeds the World and Tasty Baby Belly Buttons. Dane is excited for this show of 50 cast members set in the 1970’s.
“A discoball will be used!”
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has an extraordinary cast comprised of young, inexperienced actors as well seasoned adult actors.
Dane says, “I love this show because its fun to watch all these different ages put a play together.”