By Adam Armour
Itawamba County Times
Itawamba Agricultural High School students are ready to help usher in the Christmas spirit with a unique holiday production.
Thursday through Saturday, the curtain will rise on the IAHS Itawamba Players’ production of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” for matinee and evening shows at the historic Fulton Grammar School auditorium. There will be a 7 p.m. showing on all three nights, and a 2 p.m. performance on Saturday
Tickets for any of the performances will be available at the door.
Adapted from the popular story from children’s author Barbara Robinson, “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” tells the story of the Herdmans, quite possibly the worst batch of kids the world ever spat out. Bullies, cheats and thieves to the end, the Herdmans hadn’t even heard the story of Christmas before they decided to take over a local church’s annual Christmas pageant. Their interpretation of how Christmas came to be may be a little bit different than the one most people know … although, perhaps, not as wholly awful as people expect of them.
Director Victoria Blake said the Herdman’s story is heartwarming and inspirational, the perfect kind of tale for the chilly Christmas season.
The production includes a cast of about 25 students and children. Additionally, the IAHS Choir, led by Hilda Bishop, will be performing a set of traditional Christmas songs to accompany the play. In all, approximately 80 students will help bring the Herdmans’ story to life.
In addition to the feature presentation, each performance will open with a short play called, “The Christmas Truce.” Set in the trenches of the Western Front during World War I, this short play tells the true story of the Christmas Day ceasefire between German and British troops.
“British and German soldiers … came out of their trenches and started talking to each other, exchanging helmets and buttons and singing Christmas carols,” Blake said. “It’s such a poignant story about war.”
The play is being performed by 15 students in Blake’s world history class, none of whom have previously acted in a stage production.
“Both plays embody the true spirit of Christmas and show what Christmas is all about,” Blake said.