Sunday, December 13, 2009

A Special Sunday in a Nearby City

Today, Teagan and I ventured to Greenfield, IN as guests of director Christine Schaefer (and fellow blogger- Better In Writing) of Crazy Lake Acting Company for their closing performance of "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever." First, this is one of my favorite stories. I remember reading the book as a kid- over and over. It's the tale of an annual, traditional Christmas pageant, put on by the children of the town church each year. Also in this town are the Herdman children- they are poor, dirty, crude, rude, mean, bullies. No one likes them, most are scared of them. After years of church being the only place the town kids are safe from the Herdmans, they wind up taking over Sunday School and the Christmas Pageant (thinking the Sunday School offers desserts each Sunday). In the end, the Herdmans, who know nothing of the Christmas story, end up teaching everyone an important lesson about that traditional tale. Crazy Lake is located in this fantastic old theatre- so much you can do with that space and it is a building that has to hold some great history. Christine- I'd love to know more about it and I think it'd be cool to have that info on your website, too! You actually step up to the outside window to get your tickets and then go in these gorgeous old doors into the lobby. We got seats in the second row- Teagan was very excited to be so close. We enjoyed music from a brass quintet. One of the best parts of that pre-show was when one of the musicians stood up to introduce the other members of the group and then said, "If we have folks in the audience who have seen this show before, you know what you're in for!" Teagan turned to me and said, "He is NOT talking to you or me, Mommy. We haven't seen this show!" There was a pre-show "radio version" of "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" that was a lot of fun. There was a narrator, 2 audience members pulled up to run the foley table (various sound effects), an audience member to hold up the audience cue cards, and audience members to play The Grinch, Cindy Lou Who, and Max. Curtain opens... show starts... intermission... final act... Then our friend Christine offered to let Teagan go onstage and take a tour of the backstage. Teagan got to meet some actors, see the dressing rooms, check out the set. She loved it. She would have taken 3 more tours if they hadn't been striking (tearing down the set). She got to see kids onstage. She recognized Christmas music and enjoyed siging along (or at least lip syncing along). She refused to applaud, didn't understand why Mommy cried at the end, and got only mildly squirrely at the end (when there was no action onstage, just a voiceover of the Scripture of Jesus' birth being read). It was a great afternoon. And now I'm itching to do a traditional Christmas pageant at my own church with Teagan and the other kids... reading the verses, singing the traditional hymns that tell the tale... and maybe finding our own Herdmans to teach us the true meaning of Christmas, to demonstrate how the story actually happened. If you enjoyed this little sliver of a Sunday In My City, swing by Unknown Mami (click the button below) and check out other participants!
Unknown Mami


mimbles said...

Wonderful way to spend a Sunday Liz :-) Teagan will no doubt remember that for ever, especially the back stage tour!

Nicole @ said...

Sounds like a lot of fun!

Unknown said...

Well, I am from Greenfield and used to go there a lot when I was younger. Then it was just a traditional movie theatre. About 10 years ago (?) they renovated it back to the original theatre that you saw today. It was called the village theatre when I went there. I grew up going to the united methodist church (bradley) across the street from the theatre. We lived down the street and around the corner for a while when I was younger. Funny to see people write about something you took for granted so much growing up.

Thanks for sharing this. Ashli

Joanna Jenkins said...

That sounds like a fabulous Sunday! Thanks for sharing.

Sonya said...

I have never read the book but I know they made a movie out of it and I loved it. What a fantastic way to spend a sunday! Have a wonderful week!

Formerly known as Frau said...

How wonderful! Thanks for sharing have a wonderful Christmas!

Mrs4444 said...

Very fun! I read that book for the first time last year; it's a cute story. Glad Teagan had fun :)

Claudya Martinez said...

As someone with a Theater background, that sounds like so much fun! I love the picture of the marquee.

KPCL Girl said...

Thanks for the positive review. It was my pleasure to tour you and Teagan through the backstage. We're a pretty child-friendly place. I lifted your photo, by the way. The tall kid with his back to the camera walking...? That's my oldest son (the 18-year-old).

Like I tried to express in my curtain speech, this was really a special experience for us. I never try to teach or preach in my shows, but this one took on a life of its own and I think everyone who was involved knew we were part of something special happening there.

Glad you could be a part of it.

We'll be doing a fairy tale spoof in the spring called "Sleeping Beauty and the Beast" which I think Teagan would enjoy also. It 'Shrek-edgy' for my older kids and has a lot of 'chorus' parts for my younger ones. We sure have fun together. :-)