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    Since 1986, Stage One Family Theatre's The Best Christmas Pageant Ever has been a holiday staple in Louisville. Many a Louisville native can recall a field trip to see the story of a family of lying, cheating, and stealing siblings who bully their way into the town's Christmas Pageant. This year, the familiar story of the Herdman family has a unique twist: three sets of siblings appear in the play. This is the first time that three different families have had a set of siblings in the production.

    Each season, Stage One casts 32 young actors from the community to appear in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Many of the students return season after season, progressing from smaller roles to more challenging ones. Some members of the Stansbury, Keck, and Hall families are returning students, while others are joining the production for the first time this year. 

    Rylee Stansbury appeared in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever last season, and this year she reappears as a quiet Baby Angel. Her older brother Collin makes his Pageant debut as the intimidating Leroy Herman, who steals lunches from children on the playground. Sisters Clara and Heidi Keck are both seasoned StageOne actors. Clara plays Beth Bradley, the thoughtful narrator of the show, while Heidi place the stuck-up tattle taler Alice Wendleken. This is the first time that the final set of siblings, Madeline and Kate Hall, have performed at StageOne. Madeline plays Imogene the loudmouth leader of the Herdmans, and Kate plays a sweet Baby Angel.

    These student actors perform twice a day from November 24 to December 20 after weeks of rehearsal. Each role in the play is double cast so that the students can rotate and miss the least amount of school possible. All of the actors are at least nine years old.

    Information on field trips can be found here. Public performances or The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are December 6, 13, and 20 at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. Tickets may be purchased online, by phone at 502-584-7777, or in person at the box office. They are $20 each for adults and $15 for children. Group rates are available for parties of 12 or more, and they are available for purchase at 502-498-2447 or 502-498-2436.

    Photo: StageOne Family Theatre

    Rebecca Ball's picture

    About Rebecca Ball

    As great lover of books and adventure, I grew up wanting to be anywhere else. I satiated some my wanderlust in the castles and expansive forests in Europe over the past few years. Now, I live in the city that will always be home with a cat who thinks she's a person.

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