Young actors learn from high schoolers in PCHS’ ‘Best Christmas Pageant Ever’

Published 2:10 pm Friday, December 17, 2010

This Christmas season, elementary and middle school students are getting more than just presents theyre getting a fun learning experience in the world of theater. Polk County High School students are working with younger students from various elementary and middle schools throughout the county to put together the Christmas classic The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.

Directed by Donna Everett, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever plays at the Polk County High School auditorium on Dec. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. This heartwarming show centers on the cigar-smoking, teacher-cursing, rule-breaking Herdman children. These six unruly children turned the community upside down when they were unexpectedly cast in the churchs annual Christmas pageant. They had only come to the church because they were told there were cookies.

As would be expected in a church pageant, there are many small children running about, causing havoc with their angel wings and halos, wrestling with each other and just generally being small children.

Much the same is true of the backstage area at Polk County High School, where volunteering mothers work to harness the energy of the younger students.

Despite the seeming chaos, the students are benefiting from the experience. Most of the younger students said they have learned something valuable. For example, Scout Harmon, a second grader from Tryon Elementary said of the older students, Its sometimes embarrassing to talk to them, but Ive learned that you really have to listen to what the older kids say.

Meadow Becker, a third-grader at Lake Lure Academy, said, Ive learned that you shouldnt be scared when youre doing a play. Its not really scary when you get into it.

The high school students said they have learned from the experience of working with younger children as well. Many of them have been doing theater for years, starting in elementary school, and can remember being as young as the children they are now working with.

At first, the kids were shy around us. But they didnt stay shy for long, said Savannah Marino, a 10th-grader at Polk County High School.

Mostly though, what the older students say they discovered was how important theater can be for young children. Katie Sams, a senior at Polk County High School, said, I believe that younger people becoming a part of theater is important, because you can be anybody you want onstage.

Most of the high schoolers seem to think because of this experience, many of the younger children are likely to continue theater as they get older.

Tickets will be available at the door. For more information, call 828-894-2525.

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