Two of the most treasured traditions at Olympia Family Theater (OFT) are the annual holiday show and the multigenerational cast show. This year, the two are brilliantly rolled together for a play that will surely get even the biggest Scrooge into the holiday spirit.
Today’s parents may recall from their youth Barbara Robinson’s 1970’s young adult novel The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
“It’s a holiday classic I read every year as a kid and cried. I just loved it,” shares artistic director Jen Ryle. Thankfully, Robinson also adapted the beloved and hilarious novel for the stage.
At the helm of this production will be lifelong actor and director Isaac McKenziesullivan. He has the theater in his blood, as his father began Tenino’s Young at Heart Theater in 1994. Audience members will recall McKenziesullivan’s starring turn as Charlie Brown in last year’s OFT holiday show. He recently finished a run as the elephant Gerald in OFT’s Elephant & Piggie’s “We Are in a Play!”
This season, McKenziesullivan will direct as the cast of the rough and wild Herdman family surprises everyone by getting starring roles in the annual Christmas play, then putting their own wacky spin on things.
Years ago, OFT chose this production as their first-ever all-youth cast show, and Ryle is very excited to revisit it this holiday season. There is a large cast of about 30 actors, this time around ranging from seven years and up. The Best Christmas Pageant Ever will include Christmas carols to make the whole experience complete and give the audience that warm realization that Christmas is finally here.
What: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
Where: Olympia Family Theater,
612 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia
When: 7 p.m. Nov. 25, Dec. 2, 9 and 16; 2 p.m. Nov. 26 and 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 and 18
How much: $13-$19 (Dec. 2 is pay-what-you-can)
Learn more: 360-570-1638 | OlyFT.org