June 04, 2023

Osceola Children’s Theatre presents ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

Thirty Clarke area youngsters are putting finishing touches on “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a musical play that they will present on the Clarke High School Auditorium Stage 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday Nov. 18 and 19.

Director Kathy Kooiker has been working with these 4 through 12 year old performers since September, and is excited to show the community what they can do.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tells the story of when a small town church Christmas pageant is thrown in chaos because the Herdmans, a family of six wild and unruly kids who had never even been to a church or even heard the Christmas story before, show up for auditions after hearing there would be free desserts given to those in attendance.

Rehearsals are turned upside down due to the shenanigans of the Herdman children, and the whole church and town is in an uproar.

By the time the night of the pageant rolls around, none of the church leaders think anyone will show up for the pageant. To their surprise, everyone comes because they want to see what the Herdman children will do next.

Full of laughter, music and heartwarming moments that will strike a chord with parents and teachers in the audience, Kooiker says this is a family friendly show that will be entertaining to the youngest children as well as the oldest seniors.

Local dentist Dr. Jessica Stark, who was an actor in the Osceola Children’s Theatre for much of her own childhood, leads the cast as the only adult actor in the production. Stark’s mother, Marla Shifflett, previously played the role of Mother, which Stark is now playing.

Kooiker has been directing and producing plays for child actors in Osceola for over thirty-five years, and many of the children in this production are second generation actors following in the footsteps of their parents, aunts and uncles who also grew up in this theatre company.

The doors will open thirty minutes before each performance and it is first come – first seated.

The show is expected to last a little under 90 minutes and tickets are available only at the door.

The Osceola Children’s Theatre has previously performed ‘The Best Christmas Pagent Ever’ in 2016, 2010, 2005, and 1996.