Cary Players Presents a Holiday Classic: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever - Archived

bcpe-kidsCary Players Community Theatre Company is delighted to continue its tradition of presenting popular holiday theatre this December with Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Directed by the team of Debra Grannan and Dan Martschenko, this family-friendly story will appeal to audiences of all ages.

“Attending The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the perfect way for families to get in the spirit of the holidays, “ Martschenko said. “After a divisive political season, this touching story gives us the chance to come together and celebrate something truly joyful.”

Based on the book written by Barbara Robinson in 1971, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever is the story of the Herdmans: Imogene, Claude, Ralph, Leroy, Ollie, and little Gladys. This group of delinquent siblings have a penchant for trouble. For the first time, they go to church, because they believe that there will be free desserts. However, the children are ultimately cast in the annual Christmas Pageant.

The Cary Players’ cast includes the talents of Melissa Marinello as Grace Bradley, the mom who does her best to direct the pageant for the first time. Dan Bain plays her long-suffering husband, Bob Bradley. As their daughter, Beth, Hannah Smith also narrates the story of the time the Herdman kids “took over” the pageant. Owen Hopkins plays the little brother, Charlie Bradley, who quickly regrets his inadvertent invitation to the Herdman kids to attend Sunday school.

As Imogene Herdman, Marleigh Purgar-McDonald plays a troubled but sensitive teen. Ralph Herdman, the sullen adolescent, is performed by Jonathan Knapp; Leroy Herman, the local bully, is Austin Harger; and rough-and-tumble younger brothers, Claude and Ollie, are real-life brothers, Jacob and Vincent Larkins. The feisty littlest sister Gladys, who “hits too hard,” is played by Rachel Holsopple. Carlton Watkins makes her Cary Players debut as the formidable Helen Armstrong, the former pageant director. Kyndall Boxell has the role of the “holier-than-thou” Alice Wendleken. A multitude of talented school kids and adult cameos complete the cast.

The set is designed by Bob Grannan and Ian Robson. Rachel McKay is the costumer. Ami Kirk Jones is the Props Master. The lighting design is created by Liz Droessler, and Bob Kulow creates the sound design.  Dustin Britt is the Stage Manager.

Tickets: Advance tickets are $20.00 for adults and $18.00 for students and seniors. (All tickets purchased at the door are $20.00.) The rate for groups of 10 or more is $17.00. For group sales, contact the Cary Art Center box office at (919) 462-2051.

To order tickets online from Etix, visit (Service charges apply.)

Tickets can also be purchased at these box office locations:

The Cary Theatre – 122 E. Chatham Street

Tuesdays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Cary Arts Center – 101 Dry Avenue

Mondays: 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

One hour prior to show time on performance dates 


Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Saturday, December 3 at 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 4 at 3:00 p.m.

Monday, December 5, at 7:30 p.m.

Accommodations: Arts Access will provide audio description for the blind and visually impaired on Sunday, December 4 during the 3:00 p.m. performance.

Ugly Sweater Contest!

In addition to the great show, you can have a chance to win prizes including tickets for an upcoming Cary Players show. Wear your tackiest or most original sweater to the show and stop by the Celebrity Judge Station in the lobby before the show starts for a chance to win!