This marks the last issue of The Chanticleer for this semester but by no means does that mean the events that are going on around campus will stop while the newspaper is on hiatus.
The Anniston CAST theatre troupe will be putting on The Best Christmas Pageant Ever beginning December 5 and running until December 15, 2013 with performances Thursday-Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. with ticket prices set at $15 for adults and $10 for students. Thursdays are pay-what-you-can night with a preferred minimum donation of $5.
Written by Barbara Robinson in 1971 and first performed as a play in the 1980s, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever follows the disastrous events that happen as a church group tries to put on a Christmas play with the worst kids in town cast as some of the more prominent characters.
Kim Dobbs, artistic director of CAST and an alumna of Jacksonville State University, commented that the show was chosen based on the fact that it’s “thought of fondly” and the troupe is trying to build an audience and the key to doing that is “by pleasing the patrons” with warm hearted shows like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.
CAST has a history with the show, which has been performed numerous times over the past ten years or so. Dobbs explains that even the some of the cast members have come back to perform in the show again and again, with one child who first played in the show when he was 4 or 5 coming back now at as an 11-year-old.
“With such a large cast,” says Dobbs, “it’s often hard to have everyone there at rehearsal.”
She went on to say that there had been many members who had to back out of the show and she had to re-cast 4 or 5 times.
Dobbs said that “when those are missing, we fill in and sometimes it gets to the point where I’m talking to myself,” because of the people that are missing.
Although the show presented some serious difficulties to Dobbs, she said that she kept reminding herself that she had “over 300 shows cast and put on, and they were all [done] correctly.”
As a comedy, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is a fun show with brief moments of serious concern. Dobbs tries to impart the “spirit of Christmas” that can be found in the show to all who attend by making the “theatre more than a pleasure,” and taking “them to another world and letting them forget all their troubles.”
All the actors and crew of the show are volunteers and go without pay to bring the show to the people living in the area and because of that, CAST can always use help in all the areas that have to do with putting on a show.
The board members of CAST are always looking for more donations in order to continue to put on shows like The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and actively pursue that goal.