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Egg nog is on the shelves, my neighbors have their house decorated with lights, and Thanksgiving is next week – must mean one thing: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is right around the corner!

Tickets always sell out to this Tulsa tradition. You better make reservations as soon as possible by calling (918)746-5065. We really are selling out fast.

Also coming up: Auditions for the next show! Julie Tattershall and I are co-directing Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. Auditions for this Clark Youth Theatre production are Saturday, December 1st at 3 pm at the Henthorne PAC. Performances are Feb. 22-23, Mar. 1-2 at 7:30pm and Sundays Feb. 24 and Mar. 3 at 2:00 pm.

Don’t know Love’s Labour’s Lost? Well let me tell you about it!

The King and three noble friends make a solemn vow that they will give up the company of women to devote themselves to study for one year. Whoops!  The Princess of France and her three lovely companions arrive the next day. Clark Theatre performs Shakespeare’s comedy with a tuneful twist, giving it the sound and feel of the Golden Age of Musicals.

If you know me, you know that I’m all about two things: Shakespeare and the Golden Age of Musicals. I’m excited about combining the two into a brilliant show – but I need you to join us for auditions! You know you want to!

Move On

Cover of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever...

Next!

Jack and the Magic Beans had it’s final performance today at the Mary Glass Performing Arts Center in Owasso. It’s always bittersweet to see a show wrap up, but it’s a vital part of this whole “live-theatre” thing. Nothing lasts forever, but we learn from it and grow with it and move on.

Auditions for the next show I’m directing, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, were held today. This is Clark Theatre’s 27th year of this classic production. I spent nine years in the production myself as a kid. Today was an out of body experience to be behind the table – almost like time was folding in on itself. Was it really that long ago?

I’ll make calls for callbacks tomorrow, but I’m also inviting those who couldn’t make it to today’s audition to join us. That means some of my Jack cast will come out – can’t wait to see what they bring to the table. The final cast list will be notified and posted by Tuesday – our first read through is on Thursday.

Callbacks are Monday night at 7 pm at the Henthorne PAC. Looking forward to seeing you there.

Hard Candy Christmas

It’s Christmas in July! I’m pleased as punch to announce that I will be directing The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson at Clark Theatre in December. Merry Christmas!

This play holds special significance for me. It was the second show I was ever in (behind rave reviews for Billy Goats Gruff at my elementary school) and I was in it for nine years in a row. I know this show forwards, backwards, and sideways. I’ve been a baby angel, I’ve been Mom. I’ve spent hours with that little blue script in my hand. I’ve got the t-shirts to prove it. Sure, they were made into a quilt. Why would I need nine of the same t-shirt anyway?

When I first auditioned for The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, I made a fool of myself. I spent all day prepping for auditions and I went over the top. I came to auditions in a white turtleneck and white corduroy overalls with snow boots. I sang Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer at the top of my lungs when my name was called. No one told me how freaking ridiculous I wasIt wasn’t until after my audition that I even noticed the other kids in the room who, by the way, were not dressed nearly as festively as I was. I remember being really embarrassed for myself afterwards, but the audition was over with and the cast list went up. I was a baby angel. I think I even got a line.

I want to make one thing clear, real quick. I was never Beth. I was never a Herdman. I was never a lead. But it never discouraged me. I always felt like an important piece of the puzzle in whatever role. It taught me humility and pride, all at the same time. I mean, I did the show for nine years and never once landed Beth, Imogene, or even Alice? That’ll knock you down a peg. But I did the show for nine years and I was the best Baby Angel/Maxine/Ensemble/Laura/fireman/Mrs. Clark/Mom I could be every year.

It was always the same place, always the same lines, but always a different show each year. Doug directed, then Judy, then Allison… the list has many names on it – and now I’m thrilled to add mine.

This is my tenth Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and I’m going to do what I can to make it the best Best Christmas Pageant Ever. I’m looking forward to meeting you all at auditions! White corduroy overalls optional.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever
By Barbara Robinson
A Clark Youth Theatre Production
November 30, December 1, 7, 8 at 7:30 p.m. Sundays, December 2, 9 at 2 p.m.

The Herdmans never go to church. So how did they end up with the lead roles in the Christmas play? Chance, intimidation, and maybe a little Christmas magic help bring the Herdmans, as well as the rest of the town, to a new understanding of the holiday season.

An annual Clark Youth Theatre tradition. Auditions: Saturday, October 6 at 3 p.m.