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MACC hosting ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

Skwalking Heads Productions is presenting the classic holiday play “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” at MACC starting Friday, Dec. 14 at 7 p.m. and continuing Saturday, Dec. 16 at 2 and 7 p.m., with a special Sunday showing benefiting local nonprofit Family Promise (formerly Interfaith Homeless Network) Dec. 16 at 2 p.m.

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Lainey Jenkins, Siena Rodrigues and Becky Diaz, from left, star in “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” opening at MACC Dec. 14.

“It’s a wonderful play and it’s a wonderful script,” said director Colleen Laliberte of the play that focuses on the six Herdman children, thought of as the worst-behaved in town, who decide to come to church for the snacks offered and end up with roles in the annual Christmas pageant. “It’s delightful for the whole family and it’s a great way to celebrate the holiday season.”

Laliberte said she had so many actors wanting to be in the play (37 in all) that she had to form two casts. Although every actor is in each show, the actors’ roles will change depending on the performance, she said.

Main character Mrs. Armstrong is the woman who runs everything at the church, from the potluck supper to the annual Christmas pageant. When she breaks her leg, church member Mrs. Bradley struggles to fill her shoes as she attempts to take over the production.

“I identify very much with Mrs. Bradley as she’s trying to cast the play and handles all that happens with rehearsal,” said Laliberte. “It’s like a play within a play.”

While the play involves a good deal of humor, it also dips into more serious subject matter.

“This is one of my all-time favorite plays because I love the message of the story: to not judge people by what you see on the surface, but to look more closely, to pay more attention to people and try to see them through a different lens,” said Laliberte. “[The story encourages the audience] to be more open and kind, all the best qualities that come out around the holidays.”

To go along with the spirit of the story, which involves topics dealing with children living in poverty, Mary Ellen Galloway of Family Promise will be at the Sunday showing to provide audience members with information about the nonprofit which helps families with children who have fallen upon hard times and have become homeless.

A portion of the $5 admission charge will go to Family Promise that evening, and audience members are asked to bring items for donation. A list of needed items is available at www.fpchatt.org.

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